WAR­CRAFT: THE BE­GIN­NING

World Of Bore-craft

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

re­leased OUT NOW! 2016 | 12 | Blu-ray 3d/4K Blu-ray/ blu-ray/dvd Di­rec­tor dun­can Jones Cast Travis Fim­mel, Paula Pat­ton, Ben Fos­ter, do­minic Cooper

It’s based on what pro­ducer Thomas Tull calls “ar­guably the most suc­cess­ful en­ter­tain­ment prop­erty in his­tory”. And it’s been in de­vel­op­ment for the best part of a decade. So there’s re­ally no ex­cuse for this big-screen take on all-con­quer­ing MMORPG World Of War­craft be­ing such an epic dis­ap­point­ment. It ex­cels at squeez­ing loads of char­ac­ters, species and lo­ca­tions from the game into its two-hour run­ning time, but is ul­ti­mately tired cin­e­matic fan­tasy by num­bers.

If you like spot­ting kings, mages, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and griffins then War­craft will be your promised land. Oth­er­wise you’ll be strug­gling to ne­go­ti­ate lumpen, hu­mour-free di­a­logue and an unin­spired plot about a war be­tween hu­mans and an Orc Horde that’s fre­quently side­tracked by info-dumps.

While the world of Aze­roth is beau­ti­fully de­signed, lit­tle about it feels real – ev­ery CG vista serves as a re­minder that Peter Jack­son’s de­ci­sion to use real New Zealand lo­ca­tions for The Lord Of The Rings was spot on. That said, the per­for­mance-cap­tured Orcs are a tri­umph, feel­ing like liv­ing, breath­ing char­ac­ters. In­ter­est­ingly, they ex­ist in a shades-of-grey world rather than be­ing agents of pure evil, and fare rather bet­ter than their bland hu­man coun­ter­parts, most of whom look ut­terly con­fused by the world they find them­selves in. Maybe they’d rather be play­ing the game...

Ex­tras The DVD just has 12 deleted/ex­tended scenes (14 min­utes) and a gag reel (three min­utes). The Blu-ray adds more: the six-part “The World Of War­craft On Film” (34 min­utes), cov­ers all the usual be­hind-the-scenes stuff; “War­craft: The Madame Tus­sauds Ex­pe­ri­ence” (eight min­utes) looks at the wax­work ex­hibit; “The Fandom Of War­craft” (seven min­utes) shows why the game’s such a big deal. You also get a mo­tion comic (54 min­utes), an ILM ef­fects reel (three min­utes) and the trailer. Richard Ed­wards

Star Rob Kazin­sky is some­thing of a WoW fan – he’s logged 473 days in the game, and was in the world top 100 guild.

“Here is the Orc News. A vol­cano erupted to­day.”

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