Warcraft 2016 ***

Adapting games is a mug’s game, but director Duncan Jones has already shown he’s no mug with Source Code and Moon. And while the was plenty of derision for Warcraft, his adaptation of the popular game, Jones pulled out a great-looking and decidedly original slice of fantasy adventure, replete with giant orcs, massive set-piece action in the Avatar fashion, and some interesting political allusions. Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) is caught between sides as mages battle to keep a giant portal shut that’s stopping orc hoards from invading, and Paula Patton’s Garona is along for the ride. Ben Forster plays a Merlin-type mage, while an accomplished cast includes Clancy Brown and Ruth Negga. For non-game players, it’s hard to work out what’s happening, but an overall theme of grunts betrayed by politicos is not hard to find, and Warcraft at least seems to be sticking to the combative mindset of a game; the action scene are big and beautiful to behold, and it’s something different from conventional blockbuster fare.


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