Assassin's Creed

"Weak"

Assassin's Creed Review


Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on videogames. There may have been some hits (like Tomb Raider or the Resident Evil franchise), but none has ever been critically acclaimed. So perhaps reuniting the cast and director of 2015's Macbeth might finally break the cycle. But while there's plenty of whizzy stuntwork, this film never finds a story or characters to grab hold of the audience.

In present-day Texas, death row prisoner Cal (Michael Fassbender) is executed by lethal injection and wakes up in a gloomy fortress towering over Madrid. He's been saved by shady businessman Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), whose daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) is a scientist experimenting with DNA memory. Rikkin needs Cal to travel back into his own history using a mechanical contraption called an Animus to find out where his 15th century ancestor Aguilar (also Fassbender) hid the Apple of Eden, which holds the key to controlling human will. But Cal discovers that he is the last in a long line of Assassins who have sworn to protect the apple from Knights Templar like Rikkin or his imperious supreme leader Ellen (the fabulously gloomy Charlotte Rampling).

The idea is a clever one, and director Justin Kurzel keeps the visuals grounded with action that feels earthy and real rather than digitally manipulated. Indeed, the combination of sleek sci-fi thrills with medieval fantasy horror is very cool. But there's one huge problem with the premise: all of the big fight sequences and eye-catching parkour acrobatics take place in distant history. Cal can experience these things, but he can't actually do anything, so there's no peril involved. Instead, we get endless explanations of the technology and historical inter-connections, which never quite make sense regardless of how much the characters talk about them.

The only way to enjoy this film is to admire the way it looks and ignore the plot. The actors are all hugely watchable, injecting glimpses of humour and emotion into their somewhat simplistic roles. Fassbender has enough charisma to hold the movie together, and standouts among the supporting cast include Brendan Gleeson as his shellshocked dad and the electric Michael K. Williams as another captured Assassin. But none of the characters is even remotely sympathetic: they're all morally dubious killers. So this ends up being a movie about picturesque settings and macho posturing through action set-pieces that you watch without ever experiencing them. In other words, the filmmakers were trying to please gamers more than moviegoers. Perhaps it's impossible do both.

Watch the trailer for Assassin's Creed:



Assassin's Creed

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 140 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 21st December 2016

Box Office USA: $39,043,518.00

Budget: $200M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Ubisoft, CatchPlay, Syncopy, New Regency Pictures, Hong Kong Alpha Motion Pictures Co., Latina Pictures, RatPac Entertainment, Alpha Motion Pictures, DMC Films, Ubisoft Entertainment, Monarchy Enterprises S.a.r.l., Ubisoft Motion Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 16%
Fresh: 20 Rotten: 103

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Callum Lynch / Aguilar de Nerha/卡勒姆·林奇, as Dr. Sophia Rikkin, as Alan Rikkin, as Joseph Lynch, as Ellen Kaye, Michael Kenneth Williams as Moussa, as Maria, Matias Varela as Emir, Michelle H. Lin as Lin, James Sobol Kelly as Father Raymond, as Abstergo Güvenlik Müdürü, as Nathan, as Sultan Muhammad XII, as Mary Lynch, Carlos Bardem as Benedicto, Javier Gutiérrez as Tomas de Torquemada, Hovik Keuchkerian as Ojeda, Crystal Clarke as Samia, as Young Joseph, Julio Jordán as General Ramirez, Rufus Wright as Alex, Angus Brown as Young Cal, Kemaal Deen-Ellis as Prince Ahmed, Aaron Monaghan as Gilles, Thomas Camilleri as King Ferdinand, Marysia S. Peres as Queen Isabella, Gabriel Andreu as Christopher Columbus, Coco König as Orderly, Octavia Selena Alexandru as Lara

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