Directed by Duncan Jones, 2016


Duncan Jones’s first two feature films, Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011), were gripping sci-fi dramas that relied more on ideas than special effects for impact.

His third, the online game-derived Warcraft, does the opposite: a sprawling, big budget, broad-canvas fantasy epic, it goes all out for spectacle, skimps on the thinking, and expensively demonstrates the maxim that more is less.

A horde of Orcs (tusked, pumped, fierce-but-honourable) invade the peaceful world of Azeroth, whose inhabitants (nice teeth, slim build, refined-but-valiant) duly fight back; rogue wizards and mawkish backstories add mild complications.

Some of the CGI-enhanced setpieces are thrilling enough, but it’s undercut by cod portentousness, puny characterisation and the nagging sense that all the sound and fury signifies about as much as Action Men duking it out in the playroom.

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