Once upon a time, Hollywood thought superhero movies would never be mainstream. Now, they’re some of the most profitable films in existence and Oscar winners are lining up to be in them. So maybe, just maybe, video game movies (a genre that’s always been relatively terrible) are finally ready to come along and be consistently entertaining.
Assassin’s Creed is a popular video game about an ancient order of secret assassins who serve to fight against an elitist group known as the Templar. The film stars Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, descendant of a 15th Century Spanish assassin who is apprehended by the modern day Templar and their lead scientist, Sophia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard). Sophia and her father (Jeremy Irons) hope to use a machine, known as the Animus, to tap into the memories of Callum and other assassin descendants (Michael K. Williams) in hopes of finding a legendary relic that can control the free will of mankind.
The plot to this film is all over the place and the more you think about it after it’s lengthy climax, the more holes you discover in the story (Like how is Callum a descendant when his Spanish counterpart is never established to have any offspring?). Fans of the game may care about the use of the Animus, but in this film it just feels like an unnecessary gimmick. And while the concept may work for a video game, here it just seems overly convoluted and hellishly distracting.
The film switches between the two time periods and when things are in the present day, nothing ever really occurs to make the audience care about the characters or their motives. As for the movie’s star studded cast, none of them seem capable of overcoming wooden dialogue to make their characters relatable or even likable. Thus, every second of the film spent in the modern day feels boring.
And it’s an absolute shame, because the parts of the film taking place during the Spanish Inquisition are fantastic. Whether it’s exhilarating action sequences or just captivating shot angles that take advantage of 3D technology, the parts of Assassin’s Creed that focus on ancient assassins is fun to watch. Even the relatively silent characters of this portion (Fassbender and Ariane Labed) are infinitely more interesting. If only they’d made that era the focus, we’d finally have a rare video game movie that isn’t forgettable.
FINAL GRADE: C-