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Warcraft - The Beginning: Only the effects are special here

By Damon Smith

Orc chieftain Gul'dan (Daniel Wu), who has been consumed by a dark magic called The Fell, leads his warmongering clans into the kingdom of Azeroth and begins to slaughter everyone who stands in his way.

One tribal chief, Durotan (Toby Kebbell), does not share Gul'dan's bloodlust and prepares to stage a coup.

Warcraft: The Beginning is a muscular, special effects-heavy blockbuster based on the popular subscription-based role-playing game franchise.

Spectacle trumps characterisation and coherent plot in every digitally altered frame of Duncan Jones' film, which casually begs, borrows and steals from Avatar, Lord Of The Rings and numerous fantasy adventures. The script makes no allowances to newcomers to this world of magic and mayhem, providing only the flimsiest back stories for two-dimensional characters.

Motion-capture performances bring to life these otherworldly denizens with considerable technological sound and fury.

Behind all of the CGI, there's very little to make the heart beat faster or minds race.

Two stars

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