Many films debuted over the Christmas Day weekend including the long in development video game movie adaption Assassin’s Creed by 20th Century Fox and Ubisoft. The film was produced and starred by Micheal Fassbender (Alien: Covenant, X-Men: Apocalypse). Unfortunately, since the films release it has been labeled just another failed video game adaptation like so many before it. It is currently sitting at a whole 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. But does it deserve all this hate? We delve into this SPOILER FILLED review of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed.
Unlike the video games which focus on Desmond Miles and his ancestors the story’s dual-protagonists (in which Micheal Fassbender plays both) Callum Lynch and Aguilar are both brand new to the franchise. Death row inmate Callum Lynch witnessed at a very young age his father murdering his mother in the name of the Assassin’s order. Something Callum never fully understands. From that day on he has been on the run and eventually convicted in killing a local pimp. After his “execution” Dr. Sophia Rikkin (Marion Colliard) of the mysterious Abstergo Foundation revives the now “legally deceased” Callum in her program. The program uses a machine called the Animus to let the patient to relive past events from their ancestors.
From here we delve into many back and forth scenes between past and present showcasing Callum becoming his ancestor Aguilar. The last Assassin to battle the Templar’s for a “Piece of Eden” which will either enslave or free the people of the world from choice and free will. Depending on your point of view that is.
Now if you are a fan of the video game series you will notice many Easter eggs from their game-play in this film. Including the fighting styles, parkour and of course the Leap of Faith. However, as a film goer you may be taken out of the cinematic action due to the directors choice of switching back and forth between the two protagonist in the middle of the sequence. It’s very unnecessary and borderline annoying. Once you start to get into the impressive choreographed fights it randomly switches to Callum finishing the move then back to Aguilar. I suppose it’s to show how this version of the Animus allows the user to have full control of their bodies. Unlike in the game when the user is just laying their. Another noticeable change from the games include the physical toll it takes on the user while in the Animus. As made apparent by Callum entering a seizure after experiencing the Animus for the second time. So these physical changes they made for the film was a breathe of fresh air to the concept.
Another common gripe with the film is that Abstergo is constantly after the Piece of Eden which they lead Callum to believe will help purge the world of violence. When of course that isn’t true in the end it is a bit weird from a cinematic aspect. It would have been simple but more effective to reveal that the ancient artifact is actually one of many “Doomsday” devices. At least that would be my personal opinion. All in all the film itself definitely does not deserve the hate it has gathered over the past week. The film stays extremely true to the source material even having all the past scenes during the Spanish Inquisition to be spoken in Spanish to give it a more authentic feel.
However, the best parts of the movie are indeed in the past. We barley get any chance to get to know Aguilar who barley speaks in the film. We are instead stuck with 75% of the film watching Callum investigate Abstergo and the fellow modern day Assassin’s who are captures as well by the company. The film does leave the door open for sequels which is indicated by Callum breaking the Animus then coming into contact with all his past Ancestors including his deceased mother and father. They also show that Sophia had an ancestor that was once an Assassin as well. Something that indicates that Callum and Sophia are related? But based on the reviews and box office sequels seem highly unlikely…which is unfortunate considering Callum is only just discovering what it means to be one of the brotherhood.
All in all I give the movie 3 out of 5 Stars. Not great but it is no where near as bad as it is made out to be.
Assassin’s Creed is in theaters now!