Much like the two factions the game is known for, Warcraft: The Beginning is a movie of two halves. On one side - and the more technically difficult might I add - are the hulking CG characters come to life, and Iím happy to say they have done a fantastic job bringing that same Avatar-esque feeling to the big screen once again. In fact the only characters youíll feel any emotional attachment for - be it love or hate - are the Orcs, which is quite the feat, and the thing I most worried for prior to the film's release. From the Orcs interpersonal relationships, how they deal with politics, disagreements, love, and how they live everyday life as a race of hardened warriors is truly believable will and have you completely invested, making you forget they are wholly digital creations.
Itís such an puzzling quandary then, that the more basic aspect of storytelling - dealing with the real life human characters - falls flat. Whilst Travis Fimmel does the best with what heís given as Lothar - and his quips sprinkled throughout are much needed - unfortunately there really is no depth in the script on the human side of the fence, with the film jarringly transporting the audience from one plot point to the next in speedy fashion, giving no room for these characters to breathe nor a reason to exist and expand upon the dynamics between them; all to ultimately make us care at all about the ramifications within the plot. Instead each of the characters be it they King, Wizard, Warrior etc becomes a basic archetype - nearly venturing into the fabled Dungeons & Dragons movie territory - not at all the more nuanced storytelling Duncan Jones is known for.
Thankfully the beautiful world Warcraft: The Beginning exudes will far outweigh any qualms you may have, and with a little suspension of disbelief youíll find yourself transported into its high fantasy trappings.
Warcraft: The Beginning aims to be light and wholly fun, truly succeeding in that latter aspect, never giving you a moment of boredom and throwing memorable action set pieces one after another at you. Then when all is said and done, setting up an interesting world that will have you invested for possible future instalments.
- 3 Out of 5 Stars
Shallow human performances
Warcraft: The Beginning
Release Date: 30th May
Runtime: 2 hrs 3 mins
Director: Duncan Jones
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Toby Kebbell, Dominic Cooper, Daniel Wu, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Ben Schnetzer & Robert Kazinsky
- John Carter
Whilst there is very limited blood, there is a lot of violence usually depicting CG characters.
Planned as a trilogy of films.
The movie has been in the works for over a decade (first announced in 2006), with many directors and changes over the years. At one point infamous director Uwe Boll even approached Blizzard about acquiring the rights.
An Orcish dialect was created specifically for the movie.