I was not expecting much out of Warcraft: The Beginning as fantasy films and films based on games are normally pretty crap. Hence, I was pleasantly surprised to find it an enjoyable romp in an interesting fantasy world.
The storyline is a fairly basic with a bunch of bad orcs coming to take over the good guy’s world by using the life force of others to open up large dark portals to bring through the horde. Apart from a couple of odd jumps, it was easy to follow and contained enough twists and turns to keep you interested. I suspect there was a lot more filmed than we saw and one assumes there will be an extended version at some point.
The CGI is very good with the facial recognition on the orcs being particularly well done. The action sequences (and there are a lot of them) are handled well and the world in general looks real (a big achievement considering most backdrops are computer generated).
For those of you who play Warcraft/Hearthstone there are a few nods to game characters and cards which bring a smile (without distracting you from the film) and it is interesting to see certain characters acting out how they are in the game.
Verdict: Better than expected but, as per the title, it was more about establishing the universe for sequels (which I suspect will happen if this makes enough monies).