ASSASSIN’S CREED MOVIE REVIEW

STORY: Using a revolutionary technology that unlocks genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar in 15th century Spain. This video game adaptation delves into a mysterious secret society of assassins with incredible knowledge and skills. ?

CAST: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael K. Williams

DIRECTION: Justin Kurzel
GENRE: Action
DURATION: 1 hour 55 minutes

REVIEW: The number of video game movie adaptations that have failed to meet expectations is astounding. It’s as if Hollywood simply can’t make the transition from console to cinema. ‘Assassin’s Creed’ was touted as the one to break the curse, with big actors attached to the project like Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons. Additionally, the trailer looked promising with sweeping cinematography and complex action choreography which mimicked the frenetic pace and vast set pieces of the free-running, gravity-defying, time-traveling game series.

To its credit, the movie manages to accomplish that. Fassbender’s Aguilar showcases lethal skills with his character’s trademark concealed knives as he scales buildings and jumps across rooftops leading to some gorgeous fight sequences. The production design is appropriately detailed and the background score does its best to lend some emotion to the action. But instead of focusing on its most intriguing aspects – Aguilar and the assassins in the past, it chooses to invest more time in the present. The plot revolves around a device that is supposed to end violence across humanity. Exposition tends to be a distracting element in most films, but could have probably enhanced the story here – there’s no explanation of how this device works and when we finally see it in action, it’s still baffling. This detracts from an intriguing father- daughter power struggle between Alan Rikkins (Jeremy Irons) and Sofia (Marion Cotillard), which is the most compelling aspect in the film’s present. Even more so than the protagonist Callum Lynch/ Aguilar (Micheal Fassbender), whose motives aren’t made explicitly clear, therefore preventing the audience from being emotionally invested in his journey across time.

Hollywood’s current obsession with franchise-building might act as a consolation for fans of the game series who might take a leap of faith in a better constructed sequel. Meanwhile, ‘Assassin’s Creed’ becomes another exercise in squandering the considerable talents of its cast and crew.