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Warcraft: The Beginning review

We review Warcraft: The Beginning - is this video game adaptation Tomb Raider-good or Super Mario Bros-bad?

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Warcraft: The Beginning

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Toby Kebbell

Release date: 2016

2 out of 5


One of the most popular video games of all time gets a long awaited movie adaptation that aims to be an epic Lord Of The Rings type adventure but falls short due to thin characterisation, a forgettable plot and an overall lack of excitement.

Despite being in the capable hands of Moon director Duncan Jones – a self-proclaimed World of Warcraft fan – this impressive-looking fantasy never really engages and instead is set up like a plodding origin story, explaining exactly why the humans of Azeroth are going to be battling grumpy Orcs in any potential sequels that only die-hard fans will want to sit through.

For the uninitiated, the orcs have travelled from their dying home planet through a portal, led by the sinister Gul’dan (Daniel Wu). He wants to build an even bigger portal so more warrior orcs can come through and slaughter all the humans, while nicer Orc Durotan (Kebbell) quietly wonders why they can’t just all get along and live alongside the Azeroths rather than rampaging through their villages destroying everything. Meanwhile, human king Llane (Cooper) and pal Anduin (Fimmel) think their only hope may be the wizard Medivh (Foster), whose powers may stop the mega portal from being opened.

Unfortunately all this set-up for a mega battle that never really gets that mega, especially when all the Orcs are pretty interchangeable (and the humans not much better). Jones does his best to add characters and plot to a game that didn’t really have either, but in the end this is just the latest in a very long list of movies that aren’t half as fun as the games they’re based on.

Is Warcraft: The Beginning suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

This movie is aimed at the over 12s – kids younger than 10 may find the Orcs frightening to look at. While there are battles, little visible blood is shed.

If you like this, why not try: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, Avatar, John Carter, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Prince Of Persia,