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A still from ‘Warcraft’
A still from ‘Warcraft’

Film review: Warcraft

An irksomeor orcsomefantasy adventure film

Warcraft is clearly a 3D fantasy adventure designed to appeal to fans of the novels and computer game series. For those unfamiliar with the worlds and wars within, let’s just say Warcraft the movie is striving to be The Lord Of The Rings meets Game Of Thrones, but falls way short of its ambition.

It is set in the land of Azeroth, where the human population, under the leadership of King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper), supported by his loyal military commander Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), is wondering how to fend off an orc invasion. The orcs are controlled by the supremely evil Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), who is a master of Fel, a magical force that gains strength by sucking the life out of humans. Gul’dan wants to open a portal to let through the Horde (his orc army) and find them a new home in the human lands, but faces resistance from orc clan leader Durotan (Toby Kebbell).

Anticipating a battering, the Azerothians seek help from guardian Medivh (Ben Foster), a wizard proficient in the magical arts. Aided by his apprentice, the young mage Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer), Medivh attempts to protect the humans, but the Fel is strong in him, and he is gradually won over by the dark side. It’s up to Khadgar to step in and save the day.

Director Duncan Jones aces the special effects and motion capture, but the derivative nature of the story is irksome. There are elves and dwarves, orcs and bearded wizards. The mythology in this orcs vs humans battle is also a little hard to swallow, not least because the orcs are given human characteristics such as romance, childbirth and survival. If this sounds confusing, it is. And it’s far more so when you see all the characters on screen. It’s hard to tell one growling, sabre-toothed orc apart from another.

Warcraft released in theatres on Friday.

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