Assassins Creed review
I was doing some Christmas shopping the other day when I went into my local Game Stop. It was there that I needed a copy of a new Nintendo game for my brother. While browsing, I came across several copies of Assassins Creed. This franchise has gotten several sequels and has even spun off onto mobile phones with their own games. It deserves it’s expansion as I myself have played Assassins Creed I and III, and I found them to be very fun. It’s game is open world based where given your timeline (the first was set during the dark ages while the third was set within the American Revolution), you were free to run around while completing the story.
When it was announced that this would become a movie, plenty of people became fearful, as most films based off of video games generally do not come out well. It’s hard to tell if it’s because they get the wrong script, director, or if the material simply doesn’t translate well into the medium. But unlike this year’s earlier Warcraft and Ratchet & Clank, I have played the Assassins Creed games. So does the Assassins Creed movie finally break the curse of video game movies?
Thanks to some crawling text in the beginning, we’re told right away that the Assassins syndicate have been in a centuries old battle with the knights Templar and their descendants. We are then introduced to criminal Callum Lynch (played by Michael Fassbender) who is about to receive the death sentence for a murder. He falls into unconsciousness when the injection is introduced into his system, but wakes up in an medical facility with a woman facing him. Sophia Rikkin (played by Marion Cotillard) explains that he’s the headquarters of Abstergo Industries where they have created a machine called the Animus, which tracks genetic DNA and allows the person using it to relieve whatever their ancestor is experiencing.
Upon being put in, Callum sees his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha during the fifteen century Spanish Inquisition. Aguilar is an assassin who is searching for the apple of Eden. In the modern day, Abstergo Industries CEO Alan Rikkin (played by Jeremy Irons) wants to find that same apple as he believes it can unlock freewill and finally decode the answers to a lot of medical problems. The more the Callum uses the Animus, the more he starts to discover that Abstergo Industries may have ties to the Templar and that the Assassins may be the only ones to stop them.
It’s clear that Assassins Creed had more effort and money thrown into it then a lot of other game adaptations. Did the result come out good? Unfortunately, we have another movie that was lost in translation…though it does have a few good things. The action is clearly all practical, the fighting as very entertaining, and the overall look of the Spanish Inquisition scenes are nice to look at. When it wants to be action movie, it’s very entertaining. But then there’s the story.
For something that clearly has a large story, you’d think they would have made a way for it to not come out so muddled. They make the goal of the plot clear, but without a character we want to follow. The script tries hard to give our characters backstories, but director Justin Kurzel made the strange decision to have everyone act out without much emotion. This is what I call “Cinema Auto-Pilot”.
The cinematography…can look nice, but the color tone is very muted, giving a gloomy look throughout. This, along with an overly serious tone, makes Assassins Creed not the pleasant to sit through. I wouldn’t mind that in a more serious movie, but I think they forget that the video game was always focused on action first.
I’ll give this two and a half assassins hoods out of five. Action fans may find something on interest to look at, but those scenes are not often and require sitting through a lot of exposition. Perhaps if you’re a big fan of the Assassins Creed game franchise, you might like this. Otherwise, the target was defiantly missed.