Assassin’s Creed disappoints
January 31, 2017
Filed under Reviews
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The creators of Assassin’s Creed based their game off a simple concept, roaming around and getting into awesome fights. Then, they added a logical historical plotline, along with stellar graphics, an extended map and some parkour action and boom, you got yourself a multimillion dollar earning franchise.
Assassin’s Creed caught the eye of director Justin Kurzel and cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (the team that produced the classic, Macbeth). With a 125 million dollar budget and Oscar-caliber actors; Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons, the producers thought that they could finally make a great video game movie adaptation.
Yet, even with such aspirations, Assassin’s Creed was no Shakespeare.
The movie starts promisingly enough, providing the historical background backstory to set up the plotline. It outlines the Assassins’ and the Templars’ conflict for the Apple of Eden that seems to transcend through time. Then the setting and backstory get put into perspective. The audience transitions to modern day, where they meet the protagonist, Callum (Fassbender), and his situation.
The rest of the script left the audience way behind as it starts to fill with illogical holes from scene to scene.Callum apparently starts reliving his memories as his ancestor Aguilar to find the Apple of Eden and “cure violence”. We can see that Callum starts to lose his mind and become more and more connected with “the assassin within him”. Then, after more of the same unexplained gravity defying stunts day after day, the Apple of Eden is found and the main conflict finally begins to form. The modern day assassins reconnect with their ancestors to rise against the templar.
However, at this point, half of the movie has been wasted. As a result, the audience is deprived of an anticipated action scene to the location of the Apple halfway across the world. Instead we settle for a resolution and climax consisting of a member of the Templars getting assassinated while presenting his findings to the secret society.
As far as characters, they are thinly sketched and flat. Callum is portrayed as an angry criminal that reverts to his “I’m losing my mind” melodrama far too often. A scientist with seemingly good intentions, Cotillard has a little more depth. However, even her rationale behind the “cure to violence” through the power of the Apple is hastily explained, and riddled with gaps.
Character development may not be Assassins Creed’s strong suit, as it does exceed expectations in other areas.
Kurzel has done a superb job at recreating the superhuman, vertical action from the games and transferring it to the big screen. He discarded the Animus chair utilized in the games for a mechanical arm. He allows Fassbender to perform impressive gymnastic feats while mirroring the action we see in 14th-century Spain and incorporating the actual technology used behind-the-scenes to shoot the film itself.
Overall, the movie seemed rushed and missing out on particular elements. The gaps in the plot, little character development or growth and a steady progression of a plotline weighed down the pros of the movie. This unfortunately took away from its potential to being up there as one of the few successful video game adaptations. Though it did bring in $180 million in the box office, the movies budget left only about $55 million in revenue.
Ultimately, it ended up being as a semi-naked Fassbender hallucinating that he’s on a quest to protect some magical apple while dangling from a robotic arm. For that I would rate this movie a 4 out of 10.