Review

Assassin’s Creed fans, rejoice! The popular Playstation and Xbox game franchise finally has been released in the UK on New Years Day, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

Unfortunately, game to movie adaptations have not had a very charming history. Movies like Super Mario Bros and Street Fighter came and went and are now remembered as some of the worst of the worst. The Resident Evil movie series has had a decent run, and although Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider started off promising it’s sequel pretty much stunk, which spelled out a rapid end. Not having viewed it yet, apparently Warcraft has mixed reviews with some saying that it finally broke the “video game to movie” curse, but there is a heavy degree of skepticism there.

 

So, how does Assassin’s Creed hold up? Well, you would think attracting the attention of quality actors such as Fassbender and Cotillard that there would be a decent chance that some sincere care went into making this particular product. And happily, it can be reported that it looks as if there were! For a movie that runs close to two hours, pacing is surprisingly swift in telling the narrative. Speaking of which, here is a brief rundown.

In jail for murder, Callum Lynch is executed via lethal injection only to wake up in a strange institute. Sophia Rikkin (Cotillard) informs him that he is a descendant of an organisation of assassins that went against the Templar Order. At first against his will, he is transported into the animus, a machine that enables him to experience the emotions and thoughts of Aguila, an ancient assassin. His quest is to find the Apple of Edan which has the power to end all of mankind.

 

Fans of the games will no doubt be watching out for familiar elements incorporated on to the big screen, of which there are many. In Aguila’s quest, he finds himself using the infamous hidden wrist blade, smoke bombs as well as his athletic abilities to climb buildings effortlessly in order to evade and pursue those that will bring him one step closer to capturing the precious technology piece.

Admittedly, Marion Cotillard has faced more challenging scripts in the past, but she treats the movie with just as much respect as any other with a fine performance although no emotional range is put to the test. Fassbender had a slightly more difficult task, however. Lynch is a tortured and disillusioned soul that is simultaneously attempting to find out the thorough details of the murder of his mother that he witnessed when he was a little boy. Lynch is a character that has a wealth of determination in the face of conflicting feelings.

 

It has been claimed that Assassin’s Creed used very little CGI during the making of process, including the battle scenes. They were filled with excitable tension and action and the fight sequences were well choreographed although they are not exactly on the level that a defining martial arts picture has evidently created in the past. CGI was used sparingly, but it is obvious when it was put to use and some of these sequences are moments that were used with a degree of risk for the sake of upsetting the game’s most devoted followers.

As has already been said, the narrative moves along well and it is noticeable that the filmmakers were trying to make a movie that would appease both existing fans and bring in new ones. That is always a difficult task but they have achieved something that is somewhat efficient. Just like how Ubisoft keep churning out an Assassin’s Creed game year after year, the ending is left open for a sequel although that will be decided by box office returns. Will Assassin’s Creed become like Resident Evil and be viable enough to keep crowds busy with more sequels over the next so many years? It sure has the potential.

 

But in an age when cinema is too heavily focused on supposedly treating us with a seemingly infinite supply of superhero movies and little of anything else, the prospect of this movie being the beginning of something much bigger is a 50/50 proposition.



About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.