Assassin’s Creed | Review
ASSASSIN’S CREED was the last bastion of computer game to movie hope. Could this give us a grand conversion or is the transfer of platforms a lost cause? Having a cast of Michael Fassbender, looking smouldering, Marion Cotillard bringing her usual awesome and Jeremy Irons being Jeremy Irons it should be a walk in the parkour. A grand salvation that can prove computer games can transfer to movies. Bringing hope to both universes. Bumbauuuum – complete dud – enjoy Kernel Blake’s review. Could this spell out the end of computer game to movie transfers? As per my previous articles STORY STORY STORY people! ASSASSIN’S CREED is out January 1 in Australia from 20th Century Fox Australia. It is rated M and runs for 115mins. All the best………………JK.
Films based on video games have had a horrid run in Hollywood. No one has been able to crack the formula and make an entertaining movie transfer. With the star power of Michael Fassbender (both starring & executive producing), Jeremy Irons (DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE) and Marion Cotillard (ALLIED, LA VIE EN ROSE) on board, hopes were high that ASSASSIN’S CREED would finally deliver.
ASSASSIN’S CREED HISTORY LESSON:
ASSASSIN’S CREED is based on the successful video game franchise that I have been a fan of for many years. A combination of historic settings, assassin vs Templar battles, and some furious hardcore parkour made for an innovative and exciting way to game. Plus the story lines were complex and engrossing.
ASSASSIN’S CREED, the movie, takes some of those ideas and attempts to craft an original story around those key points. Michael Fassbender plays Callum, a man on death row who is ‘executed’ but soon wakes up on the other side of the planet in a mysterious facility operated by Abstergo. Callum is introduced to Dr Exposition..I mean Dr Sophia Rikkin (Cotillard) who explains that Cal has the same genes as a 15th century assassin in Andalucía. She can send him back into his ancestor’s memories using a machine called the Animus. The Animus is a VR machine on steroids. Confused? If you haven’t played the games, you will be.
For centuries, the Assassin’s has fought in the shadows against the Templars of Europe, stopping their attempts at world domination. The Templars have been searching for hundreds of years for the Apple of Eden. A device that can control free will. They hope to obtain the device and control everyone on Earth to follow their plan, under the guise of eradicating violence.
Callum fits in to the story by sharing DNA with an ancient assassin named Aguilar. The Templars believe he was the last person to know the location of this mystical Apple. With this connection Dr Rikkin can send him back into Aguilar’s pointy assassin shoes via the Animus. She can then follow his exploits during the Spanish Inquisition to find the device for her father Allan (Jeremy Irons).
It’s these sequences, in the past where ASSASSIN’S CREED begins to show life. Solid action set pieces showcase the series’ penchant for acrobatics and free running/parkour. Spanish Michael Fassbender (Miguel Fassbender?) doesn’t say much but he and his assassin partner, Maria (Ariane Labed) kick plenty of Templar ass.
I FEEL A BUT COMING…:
Buuuuut, these sequences are few and far between. To make matters worse, all of the historic scenes are shot through a cloud of smoke, or a cloud of dust or just through a bland brown and yellow filter. This makes things tough to follow and screams “We didn’t have the budget to do cool CGI!” Combine that with epileptic super-fast editing, bloodless violence to appeal to a younger audience and a pretty muddled and laughable plot and ASSASSIN’S CREED continues the tradition of rubbish video game to movie transitions.
To his credit, Fassbender does try his best in the dual roles of Callum & Aguilar. Sadly his characters are just so bloody dull and poorly written that he spends most of the running time attached to a giant metal umbilical cord or scowling at the camera from under a hood. Cotillard is basically there to explain everything to the audience and has a character turn late in the film that comes out of nowhere. This does nothing but add to the confusing nature of the film. Speaking of character turns, other subjects in the Abstergo facility all seem to dislike Callum for…reasons…then all of a sudden team up with him. Inexplicably. The biggest waste of talent, however, is Irons. He spends most of the film sitting in a room, decked out in a black turtle neck and saying about ten lines throughout.
ASSASSINATE THIS FILM:
As you may have guessed, I was not a fan of this film. I honestly was shocked when I left the cinema and saw that ASSASSIN’S CREED only had a 90min running time. It felt way, waaaay longer (Ed’s Note: it was way longer – 115mins to be precise). It’s a shame as I had very high hopes for this movie. Hoping they could’ve taken the best bits of the games series and built on the mythos. But instead we get a lazily directed, poorly written, absolute mess of a movie that would be up there as one of my worst films of 2016. But it comes out on New Year’s Day, so it’ll have to settle for being on the worst of 2017 list.
My advice, get an Xbox and play the games, the stories are far superior and the action well-paced and easy to follow. Or do what I’ll do. See ROGUE ONE again.
Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life, like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. Can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80
** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.