* * C
Though good in places, “Warcraft”, the film based on the amazingly popular games by Blizzard, fell flat. The acting, led by Toby Kebbel (Durotan, an Orc chieftain), Travis Fimmel (Anduin Lothar, a human warrior), Paula Patton (Garona, a half Orc slave), and Ben Schnetzer (Khadgar, a magician), is adequate, with Kebbel (who stole the show as the evil sorcerer’s apprentice in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”) being the stand out. The writing is solid, though the ending left many “sequel possibilities” open, making it less satisfying than it could have been.
Most of the character development focused on Durotan, who is one of the few Orcs not touched by the evil magic of the fel, and his struggle between loyalty to his people and the devastation wrought by it. Lothar and Garona have a half hearted romance that goes nowhere. Meanwhile, Khadgar must unwrap the mystery of who opened the portal which allowed the Orcs to enter the world, with little help from the guardian magician, Medivh (Ben Foster, who played angel in the ill fated “X-Men: Last Stand”).
If the mystery at the center of the plot had been give as much time as Durotan’s backstory, this could have been a good fantasy picture. Though heavily reliant on CGI, some of the effects were well done. The film was entertaining, but didn’t leave me crying for a sequel, or thinking it was capable of standing entirely on its own. If you are a fan of the games or of the fantasy genre, you may find it worth watching.