For fans, if you’re game

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

I HAVE sat through some of David Lynch’s mind-bend­ing films, head scratcher Donnie Darko, chal­leng­ing

In­cep­tion and tricky Me­mento, but have never been more baf­fled than by War­craft: The Be­gin­ning, the film adap­tion of the video game.

A po­ten­tial war brews when the peace­ful and utopian realm of Aze­roth is in­vaded by orc war­riors, who seek to colonise af­ter their home world Draenor is de­stroyed. But the peo­ple of Aze­roth are up for a fight. There’s a por­tal be­tween worlds, a Fel (magic), shifty guardian Me­divh (Ben Fos­ter), a baby orc of some sig­nif­i­cance, life-force suck­ing, a glow­ing tat­too and a vague sub-plot on loy­alty. I think.

There is so much world build­ing and a stream of fan­tasy words and lan­guage that is so dense that any­one who has not played the game (me) or have a guide book or trans­la­tion book with them (me again) may strug­gle to wrap their head around it. It is ei­ther sink or swim with War­craft: The Be­gin­ning and I sunk, hard. Any po­ten­tial com­men­tary on the refugee plight, which the story hints at, is lost un­der a litany of CGI, magic-fu­elled light­ning and blue and green mist (so much mist).

There is Lord of the Rings epic­ness to the bat­tles, the swoop­ing cam­era pick­ing up the vast land­scapes dot­ted with bat­tling he­roes and vil­lains, yet it is all so

The Hob­bit-like in its sto­ry­telling as it other­wise lum­bers along at a glacial pace.

Per­haps those with the lux­ury of con­text hav­ing played the game will en­joy this big bud­get fan­tasy film much more; I was just left puz­zled and crav­ing the sim­plic­ity of a Sonic the Hedge­hog adap­ta­tion.

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