Thanks to 20th Century Fox we had the chance to see Assassin’s Creed before its cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself!
Based on Ubisoft’s popular video game saga, the film follows Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) who, having survived an unexplained death sentence, wakes in a mysterious, high-tech medical facility. Head scientist, Sofia (Marion Cotillard) and her father, Dr Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), offer him a new life if he agrees to be exposed to a machine named The Animus. The machine is capable of virtually recreating the memories of Cal’s ancestors with a view to locating a mythical artefact (the Apple of Eden) that may permanently extinguish violence from the world. For centuries, the assassins have protected this artefact.
Despite the many disappointing video game adaptations in recent years, Assassin’s Creed manages to deliver a very entertaining film that remains true to the beloved game. However, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea due to its attempt to reach a wider audience. The best bits of the assassins’ action are cut in order to show the main characters in the present and over-explain their conflicts. Along the way, there are also rushed introductions to fairly pointless secondary characters.
Despite all its issues, Assassin’s Creed exceeds expectations.There are fantastic scenes inside The Animus showing Cal’s ancestor, Aguilar, battling the Templars during the Spanish Inquisition and taking a huge ‘leap of fate’ (by recreating iconic moves from the games, such as double killings with hidden blades and jumping on ropes and rooftops). There are also terrific CGI aerial views following the path of a flying eagle across iconic Spanish landscapes.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed manages to deliver a product that is superior to all other video game adaptation predecessors (note: this writer really enjoyed the first underrated Siilent Hill movie). However, its rushed ending and the short minutes of assassin action are frustrating and leave a bitter taste. This film could have been spectacular if most of it were based in the assassins’ era rather than the present day.
Assassin’s Creed – In cinemas New Year’s Day