Friday, May 5, 2017

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed (2016)
Buy Assassin's Creed on Amazon Video // Buy the Video Game
Written by: Michael Lesslie and Adam Cooper & Bill Collage (screenplay), Patrick Désilets & Corey May & Jade Raymond (based on the video game series created by, uncredited)
Directed by: Justin Kurzel
Starring: Michael Fassbender , Marion Cotillard , Jeremy Irons
Rated: PG-13

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the Assassins Society.

This does an excellent job of taking an interesting concept and removing any interest and intrigue. Poor creative decisions lead to a jumbled mess of a plot with boring characters.
The most interesting parts of the Assassin's Creed games were the assassination missions, not current day. For some reason the movie commits the same sin of spending too much time in the present. The concepts are butchered, the lack of clarity is baffling, and this movie just isn't any fun.
Skip it.

This movie doesn't build the assassin character and he should be the hero. Instead the plot is mired in present day power struggles and strife.This should have opened with an assassination mission with Fassbender focused on blending in, using all his tricks to get close to the target. Convince us he's credible. That first scene needs to be exciting and tense. Establish that this is an assassin movie, not some current day power struggle.
 Use that setup to pull out to the animus, the contraption to explore memories through DNA, which should be scaled back to a bed. It doesn't need to be a focus. The movie makes the animus animated to make it more exciting, but that's not the issue. The issues is that we just shouldn't see much of the animus to begin with because we shouldn't spend much time in the present day. I can't explain why he needs to wear bracers when he uses the animus. I think many decisions were made based on a, 'That seems cool, let's do it' mindset.

Build the mythos and lore after establishing the assassins. DNA containing memories and the pieces of Eden that control creation are interesting. I've played the games, albeit a while ago, and based on this movie, I have no idea what pieces of Eden are, though I remember the games made them credible. Start the mythology small, with Fassbender going back to his memories to find clues and help build the lore and work to finding one piece of Eden. Memories must be completed to explore more memories. This could be setup as a sci-fi mystery thriller.

What we get is just pathetic. The movie ruins the game's mythology. It's not even mildly interesting nor is it even intelligible. This is yet another example of a bad video game movie when the source material is really good. Focus on the best parts of the game instead of the worst. Focus on assassination missions as we retrace steps to find the treasure. It's find to leave the power of the piece of Eden mysterious. This movie is proof that trying to explain it can ruin it.

Fassbender has done some top tier movies, so why did he do this? Was it for the chance to produce a movie, a practice run? He claims he liked the idea of Templars versus Assassins, but surely he read the script first.

This spends very little time explaining the 'science.' It tells us what's good and bad and expects us to accept it. Most characters seem to have no idea what they are reciting.
While the action is kind of cool, the movie often cuts from the 1492 hand to hand combat to show us Fassbender in the animus punching mid-air. Going from past to present, just like the game, isn't effective. In the game, the past was always the best part. The movie has the same issue and wants to spend too much time in the present. Stuff happens in this movie and I just don't care. This movie doesn't do the lore justice.

At first I thought this was a lot of CGI, but that's not true though there is a lot of drone work. This features the tallest free fall by a stunt man in thirty five years with a one hundred and twenty five foot drop. The impact speed was sixty-one miles per hour.

In essence Abstergo, the company that has Fassbender and is run by modern day Templars, were training assassins, their arch enemies, by having them explore memories. How no one saw that going sour, I don't know. The assassins stage a riot and somehow produce period accurate weapons despite being monitored around the clock. None of this movie makes sense. This is what a movie stripped of any emotion, meaning, and interest looks like.

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