The big problem with Warcraft: The Beginning is that it’s for the fans: rather than showing us amazing things, it seems that everyone agreed the real audience for this film is already familiar with everything here so any attempt to build up mystery or awe would just be a waste of time. To be fair, being locked-in to the visuals of a decades-long series of games means that there’s nothing all that original going on here anyway – aside from the Orcs who’re war-like and proud, especially Main Orc Durotan (Toby Kebbell in a motion-captured performance).
Their land is dying, but their leader Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) is a glowing green wizard with a plan. That plan involves draining the souls out of their captives so pretty obviously it’s an evil one, which is bad news for the residents of Azeroth when they arrive through their soul-powered portal.
What follows is a mess of muddled storytelling, not helped by the fact that the humans – Sir Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), King Llane (Dominic Cooper), the wizard-like Guardian, Medivh (Ben Foster) and young magic-user Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer) – are a resolutely dull bunch, while half-orc Garona (Paula Patton in green paint) is pretty much a Klingon from Star Trek. In 2016, fantasy fans deserve better than this.
Reviewed by Anthony Morris