Assassin’s Creed follows the story of Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender), a man locked away in prison and sentenced to death, where he soon wakes up to find himself a legally dead man. He’s been locked away in a mysterious facility ominously watching out over the rest of the city. In charge of the facility are Sofia (Marion Cotillard) and her father Rikkin (Jeremy Irons). Their main goal is to use Callum’s ancestor’s memories to hunt down an artifact that holds the power to control free will. They hook Callum up to a machine called the animus, where he experiences his ancestor’s memories in real time, set during the Spanish Inquisition. It’s here that he discovers he’s part of a hidden society known as the Assassin’s Creed.
While the video game series the film is based on is rich in mythology and developed characters just waiting for a big screen debut, Assassin’s Creed decides to steal the game’s premise and create an original story out of it. New characters, new time period, new adventure. It was in the right mindset to work. Not restricting itself to the 10 hour long story from the game, but feeling reminiscent of this source material was a genius move. It allows for more freedom and unpredictability, or so one would hope. As it turns out, it merely allows for the development of a generic and under-explained plot that doesn’t manage to do the popular video game franchise justice.
The main selling points of this movie are the sequences set in the past. It’s Michael Fassbender kicking ass as an assassin that made me, and many others, want to see the film, especially when directed by Justin Kerzel, the man behind last year’s Macbeth. The sequences set during the Spanish Inquistion should’ve taken up the majority of this film, yet they don’t. Michael Fassbender only hooks up into the animus three times, and none of the scenes are lengthy. They’re three generic action sequences with no context, no attachment, no story and awful CGI. The film does have the guts to put these scenes in Spanish with English subtitles, but because of how short the sequences are, there’s barely any time for dialogue, so the ambitiousness of it all falls apart.
As there is only three scenes set in the past, a great deal of the third act is all set during the modern day, and it’s appalling. I’m honestly not even sure what they were trying to do, let alone what they were trying to set up in the film’s closing minutes. I will refrain from spoiling why, but the whole thing is awkward and idiotic, lacking any sort of sense, character motives or realism. I don’t even think it tried to play anything out as a surprise or plot twist. The film is too lazy to care. It is what it is, and what it is is another disappointing video game movie. As my friend said to me the other day, the film got Suicide Squad-ed. It had an awesome marketing campaign for such a letdown of a movie.
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