Warcraft, film review: ‘What’s the point of making a poor man’s Lord of the Rings?’

A scene from Warcraft

A scene from Warcraft - Credit: Archant

Films of games have consistently disappointed; and really, why wouldn’t they?

If you adapt a book, or a play or a musical into a motion picture, there is obvious scope for something to be added to the original creation.

Filming something where the chief joy is your participation in it, doesn’t make sense – it’s like doing a still life of a chess set.

This film version of the wildly popular role playing and strategy game Warcraft gets closer to the gaming experience than most: in the game ordinary people get to play act at being characters in a Tolkien novel.

In the film various small to medium-name actors get to indulge their fantasy of being a Knighted British Thespian, or Viggo Mortenson, in a big screen Tolkein adaptation.

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I’m sure the game provides an in-depth mythology for players to get lost in, but on screen it’s as rich and full as an Iron Maiden album cover.

It’s a tinpot creation made up of bits nicked from Lord of the Rings and Avatar, that feels like it might have taken a half hour to sketch out.

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There are Orcs and dwarves, a bearded magician, big battles, nobles kings and not a single original thought or idea.

Some of the effects are impressive; the Orcs, great big muscle-bound trolls that resemble upright boars playing Vikings are beautifully rendered.

The opening five minutes are great and whenever there is a big, wide shot or landscape, the 3D is impressive.

In the interiors, though, it is blurry and headache inducing.

What’s the point of making a poor man’s Lord of the Rings when we already have the Hobbit trilogy?

Rating: 2/5 stars

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