2017 is finally here, and with so much good material coming down the pipe over the next few months, film fans on all sides will have plenty to look forward to. But before that, we have the err… difficult month of January to get through, where studios tend to dump their low grade projects onto the market. And on that note, let’s look at “Assassin’s Creed”!
So straight out of the gates, I should make it clear that I’m aware of the videogame series, but not knowledgeable about them. So I was going into this pretty blank on the story elements. The film follows Callum (Michael Fassbender) who has been sentenced to death for Capital Murder. But he awakes to find himself in a facility where they are seeking an item which can end violnce throughout the world – the Apple of Eden. To find its location, Callum is connected to the Animus, a machine which allows him to connect with the memories of his descendants. And one of them was alive during the very time the Apple was last traceable to.
What this all comes down to is a story similar in some aspects to that of “The Matrix” – where a character uses their subconscious to enter an otherwise unreachable world, and attempt to source information from it. The character has their avatar in this world for the audience to follow, and of course, the plotlines from both areas intertwine.
I was hoping for this to turn out being good, nothing particularly good, but enough to translate the cool ideas from the games. I mean, it is a really cool concept to have and work with. But sadly those ideas got horribly confused within the script. Think of it this way – one of the most important things when generating a Sci Fi world, is to build that world to a point where the audience can see themselves in it. And yet none of that happens here, it’s a fucking mess. The two opposing sides of the Assassins and Templars are laid out, but it was ridiculously difficult to keep on top of what was going on. The information is served out very unevenly, and characters have only the most baseline motivations for us to go with.
If you were hoping the cast might punch up this movie, then I am afraid I have to let you all down. Michael Fassbender is indeed good, he’s trying to make this work. And the same can be said for Jeremy Irons, and Brendan Gleeson. But the latter two don’t have enough scenes to properly define their characters, and Michael is lost amongst cold and sterile world written for the Animus.
That would have been enough to write this away as an interesting, but dull Sci Fi. Plenty of those come our way every year. But then te Animus takes us to 1492 where the majority of the action is set. And it was a horror to sit through. The basic lighting during the battle on the horses was so atrocious I thought someone idiot was waving their hand in front of the film projector. Fassbender’s movements in the fighting are sped up (literally) to the point where the editing can’t even keep up. Which results in pretty much every single fight scene looking like dog shit. And you know what the most frustrating thing about that is? Some of that fighting was probably cool, but I sure as fuck couldn’t decipher it. This kind of sloppy, “put you in the game” approach ruins everything it touches, from that chase sequences to even the setting – it never felt like a world. Instead it was just a level.
And then we come to the ridiculous choices made in this film. So as Fassbender’s in the Animus, he is manoeuvring a huge rig that is connected to him, that follows the movements of the Assassin. The rules by which this abides seem to be cartoonish, because he could be climbing a 100-foot wall, which scaling with the rig up what is probably a quarter of the height. I could not for the life of me explain how that was all working, but I smell bullshit.
But as for one ting I liked…. the graphics on the screens for the Animus were really cool. So there’s that.
Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about “Assassin’s Creed”. I am sure the games could never have been this bad, and if that’s the case, I bet they’d be fucking livid right now with what they saw. And for audience members coming into this knowing nothing of the series, it will be an even worse experience due to how badly every idea and plot point is described or illustrated. Seriously, how can a movie containing Fassbender, Irons, AND Gleeson be such a bucket of piss? How???
I can’t even go near calling this a contender for Video Game Movie adaptation, they had $120 million and a stellar cast, and still achieved less than mediocrity. No attention was paid to building a world for the movie to reside in, the editing is unspeakably bad, the speed-up is infuriating, the ideas are idiotic, and there’s barely ANY tension in the film at all. No massive steaks at play for us to get behind. All I wanted was for it to be a pass, and it fucking fell on its own dagger in a pool of stagnant water.
Thanks for reading!