The most recent film I had the chance to see was Assassin’s Creed. Now, I’m a huge fan of video games, but have never played Assassin’s Creed before. I’ve only ever heard good things about it, but just haven’t gotten around to playing it. I say this as a disclaimer, because I really disliked this movie. Perhaps it is because I have never played the games? Or perhaps it is because this movie was complete garbage?
Assassin’s Creed stars Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, a criminal that is executed for crimes he committed. He wakes up in a facility run by Alan Rikkin (Jeremy Irons) and his daughter Sophia (Marion Cotillard). They run a company called Abstergo, and are looking for an ancient artifact called the Apple of Eden. The Apple of Eden will give them the power to somehow cure the modern world of violence. To find this artifact they send Callum into the past to 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition as an assassin. Doing this they hope he will help reveal the location of the Apple of Eden.
One glaring problem with this film is its lack of character development. I could barely remember the main characters name, and only remembered because they said it a trillion times. Callum is given absolutely no personality, which is a big problem. I had zero investment in him, his cause, or anything he did in the film. There were no stakes for the audience, no tension. I didn’t even know what this guy wanted to accomplish by the end of the film. Everything was just a mess.
This brings me to another large problem with Assassin’s Creed, which is just how poorly made and incoherent it is. I know that sounds very broad, but that is the best way to describe it. The plot is just so random and confusing it is hard for the viewer to understand the purpose of the film. For example, just about all the characters only speak in vague exposition. This gets very annoying very fast because things that need rationally explained never do. By the end of the film I had so many simple questions that needed answered, but weren’t.
Also worth mentioning is this stupid eagle they put in the movie. There are actually seven tracking shots (some of them very long) of this random eagle in the film. Seven. What were the director and producers even thinking?
The only semi-interesting thing that Assassin’s Creed has going for it is the action sequences. The choreography and settings of the fights are both pretty good and nice to look at. However the action is ruined almost every time by the camera work. The sheer amount of jump cuts made during the fighting was very disorienting. I was trying my best to follow exactly what was happening (because these were the only good scenes) but couldn’t because I could not tell what was happening. When the camera switches four or five positions within ten seconds, it can be hard to embrace and experience the scene.
Not only does the camera jump cut to other positions, it also cuts in and out to Fassbender inside the present day facility acting out the motions of fighting. It really breaks up the action and reminds me that I am only watching a predominantly boring film.
I have very little good things to say about this film. I guess the acting was as good as it could be with monkeys behind the camera. Fassbender, Cotillard, and Irons are all pretty talented actors and did as well as they could do. That’s about all nice I can say about this production.
If Assassin’s Creed fans like this movie, than great! More power to them I guess. This was made for them, and them only. However I cannot recommend Assassin’s Creed to anyone who is not a fan of the games. The film is too incoherent and too boring for me to tell others to see this. If you are a fan of the game, you are most likely going to go see it and like it regardless. If you are anyone else, than steer clear from this pile.
The Verdict: F