"Assassin's Creed" stars is based off of the popular video game franchise of the same name and it stars Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, a criminal on death row who is recruited into a mission that involves him going back into time to the year 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition. The catch is that he's actually reliving the memories of a deceased ancestor of his and his mission is to retrieve an object known as the Apple of Eden. This movie also stars Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Michael K. Williams, Charlotte Rampling, and Brendan Gleeson.
I was interested in this movie mostly because I've played just a little bit of one of the games in the video game series. From what I got out of it, I found most of the gameplay to be fun, and the overall premise was something that I found to be fascinating. I also just wanted to see there finally be a good movie based off of a video game and seeing as how "Warcraft" from earlier this year failed in that regard, this movie looked to be our last hope in creating a legitimately good video game film...and that hope has officially disappeared.
One of my biggest concerns with this movie was just how time was going to be spent in the 15th century. The trailer made it seem like there might be some external conflict with Lynch in prison and well outside of the Spanish Inquisition and I wasn't too excited about that concept. I just wanted to see most of the movie in 1492, but I was completely disappointed in that regard. The time spent in the 15th century is very limited and we're basically left with a bunch of boring scenes set in the present day, an occasional criticism with some of the video games. Lynch forming a relationship with Cotillard's character was unnecessary, a subplot involving Jeremy Irons had me bored out of my mind, and the other supporting characters such as Michael K. Williams are completely underdeveloped. In the palm of your hands you have the ability to show an audience the excitement of going into the past, yet it's squandered by a myriad of boring prison drama.
Another major problem with this movie is that it would appear that you need a fairly extensive knowledge of the video game's lore. Having only played just a few missions from only one of the games, the stuff I know about this universe is severely limited, and that actually hindered this movie for me. There were times in this movie when I was at a complete loss in terms of the plot moving forward. This movie is just rapidly firing off a bunch of exposition, but none of it felt like it was watered down for the average moviegoer to comprehend. I feel as if this movie was only speaking to hardcore gamers in a lot of scenes, and that creates a really bad feeling of isolation towards people like me who aren't super invested in the games.
With the action scenes in this movie, those were more of a mixed bag for me, but I'm still leaning slightly negative. To start positively, there are a couple of action scenes in this movie that I found to be entertaining. There's a decent amount of parkour-related sequences that were fun enough, and there was a carriage chase scene that also kept my interest, but there's still an unfortunate amount of negatives to the action scenes.
For starters, a lot of the action is disrupted by the movie unnecessarily switching back and forth between the present day and 1492. It's a constant switch between Lynch actually fighting people and then before he can even land a hit, it's already switched back to the present with him acting things out on that dumb machine he's belted to, and it doesn't stop there. There's also everyone's favorite quick-cut shaky cam "style". Don't you just love when you can't even tell what's happening on screen? I know I do. I love trying to figure out what's happening whilst simultaneously trying not to throw up due to the jarring edits. That's the future of action film-making, ladies and gentlemen.
Overall, "Assassin's Creed" is just another bad video game based movie. The action is mostly filmed to garbage, the actors are all wasted on uninteresting characters, and there's simply not enough of the cool 15th century stuff that we all wanted to see. Instead, we get slow prison drama with nothing of interest to grasp onto, because I'm sure that's what die-hard gamers want to see out of this movie. The cogs were in place for this movie to be good, but it goes to show just how much a script can make or break your film.
Rating: Some Ol' Bullshit