WAR­CRAFT: THE BEGIN­NING Look Who’s Orc-ing

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 30 May 12a | TBC min­utes

Di­rec­tor dun­can Jones Cast Travis Fim­mel, Ben Foster, Paula Pat­ton, Toby Kebbell

In at­tempt­ing to make a movie that both pleases gamer purists and in­vites in new­bies, Moon man Dun­can Jones faced an un­en­vi­able task with War­craft: The Begin­ning. And it’s one he’s only par­tially suc­ceeded with.

This tale of war­ring races – with hu­mans see­ing Orcs as in­vaders while the green (and grey, and sort of pink-ish) mea­nies are ac­tu­ally flee­ing a dy­ing planet – has some im­pres­sively per­for­mance-cap­tured CG crea­tures, ex­plores both cul­tures, and oc­ca­sion­ally takes bold nar­ra­tive chances. But those pos­i­tives are of­ten out­weighed by an over­wrought script and act­ing that ranges from nu­anced to the sort of the­atri­cal procla­ma­tions that wouldn’t sound out of place in an ’80s fan­tasy ad­ven­ture. Though it’s fun to chan­nel that spirit oc­ca­sion­ally, War­craft stum­bles over an un­even tone. And the need to cram in lots of world-build­ing while leav­ing story threads dan­gling for the fu­ture is re­gret­table.

There’s talk of por­tals and dark magic, loy­alty, and vengeance but chances are you’ve heard it all be­fore. If this is the begin­ning, we’re not com­pletely con­vinced we’ll be in it to the end. Jim Blakey

Uwe Boll was once told by War­craft mak­ers Bliz­zard they wouldn’t sell the movie rights – “es­pe­cially not to you.”

One Man And His Dog: Xtreme.

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