I am a huge Assassin’s Creed fan, one of many expectant eyes who waited fingers crossed, for the Assassins Creed Movie to finally sprawl out in a Cinema hall. With the likes of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard embellishing my favourite game franchise, things were kind of looking promising from a distance.
Hell, it was Justin Kurzel behind the lens after all, the guy who had given direction to the arresting MacBeth, and he had claimed his throne with the same onscreen pair. I thought, what could go wrong? Only except everything!
Assassins Creed Movie is a debacle that became everything we did not want it to become. If you rule out the gaming franchise for a second, hell it doesn’t even make a good movie either. You compare it with other flawed game movies out there, okay it is better than a lot of them owing to its subtle direction, but it is still not up to the mark.
The Direction of Assassin’s Creed
Justin Kurzel is no doubt great, but I believe, wasn’t ripe enough to take this project. He had still a lot to learn about the game before actually heading behind the camera for the plot. You take a look at any of the video trailers of the game, and you realize how intense their depiction really is. Hell! Ubisoft video game trailers are better than this movie! Sadly that intensity was missing from the flick throughout. He gave you those familiar ‘leap of faith’ moments no doubt, twice in the movie, but with nothing to bolster the movie on, everything ended up becoming a mere – Meh!
To do things differently he chose to show Animus as a robotic hand that man-handled the protagonist as he synced with his memories. It was different no doubt, but Kurzel, in an attempt to spoon-feed the audience kept jumping from the real world to the past, which took its gravity away. How would you feel if whilst playing the game you kept getting desynchronized to see what your hero was actually doing?
He didn’t let us concentrate on one world, and chose to flicker in and out both enclaves instead. To be honest, it wasn’t easy on the eyes! I concur, Justin Kurzel was trying to make things appear more palpable and hence the frequent on-off depiction, but that killed the fun for most of us.
The Plot of Assassins Creed Movie (Spoilers Ahead)
To comprise the plot of Assassins Creed we are served the original Apple tale. Yes, the Apple of Eden story! For those who don’t know anything about it yet, why don’t you give the game a shot for once? Anywho, moving forward, the story leaps ahead with a prologue set in 1492 where we find Aguilar de Nerha, portrayed by Michael Fassbender, being sworn in into the brotherhood. Then the frames take us to 1986 where we find Callum Lynch a modern-day descendant of Aguilar, returning home only to find his mother dead. To his shock, he finds out she was murdered by none other than his father, Joseph Lynch. In the backdrop, Abstergo sends men to capture Joseph. Before he was held captive Joseph asks his son to escape.
Thirty years later, Callum Lynch is all grown up and set to be executed on charges of murder. Abstergo swoops him away after finding out that he too was a descendant of Aguilar. He gets a shot at life, but only if he complies with Abstergo’s demands. He meets Sofia (Marion Cotillard) who tries to cut a deal with him to find and locate the Apple, the ancient artifact with the cure to violence. So, what Cal is supposed to do is get in the Animus and relive his ancestor’s memory to find exactly where that wretched thing was.
The whole thing is seen over by Alan Rikkin, Sofia’s father portrayed beautifully by Jeremy Irons. He is pressurized by his superior, Ellen Kaye (Charlotte Rampling) to shut the whole project down since the Apple was nowhere to be found. Sofia discords with her father believing he was never actually looking for the cure.
You can order the Assassins Creed movie here:
The Bleeding Effect
Meanwhile, the problem that silently nibbles Cal away is “The Bleeding Effect”, wherein he keeps getting hallucinations of Aguilar and other Assassins of his era. Owing to that he starts accepting his ancestral traits too, only to end up embracing the Creed for good. Eventually, the Apple traces back to Christopher Columbus who had sworn to take it to his grave. We get to see that gradually happen with relived memories of the past.
Soon riots break out. Held assassins were plotting all this time, against the Templars to escape their inevitable death. Numerous projections of the creed that comprise of Aguilar, Cal’s father, and mother surrounds Cal. It tries to insinuate that Cal fully captures the traits and memories of his ancestors, and becomes fully “synchronized”. He uses his abilities to break out from the facility along with the Brotherhood that he had befriended there. Meanwhile, Alan escapes with Sofia with the knowledge about Apple’s whereabouts.
The final scene takes us to London where a ceremony is being performed. Alan is celebrating with his fellow Templars the retrieval of the elusive artifact. Enters Cal, who assassinates him and takes the Apple back only to protect it again like his ancestors once did. Sophia vows revenge on him and the curtain drops.
The screenplay of Assassins Creed movie at times is good but then most of the times, submerges with explanations. It has a lot of parkour no doubt, and some stunts look pretty dope as well. But there is nothing so catchy that you could go home cherishing. Except of course that leap of faith. But you have already seen that happen so many times in the game that it doesn’t budge you anymore.
Also, Ariane Labed‘s Maria, badass as it seemed starts off without a spark, and then dies down so abrupt that it is hard to sympathize with her. No chemistry was created, for us to actually feel bad for them. Sofia looking at memories when Cal finds projections surrounding him is one of those other things that vex you beyond the limit.
The Final Verdict
It’s amazing how Hollywood keeps finding ways to ruin games. Maybe games tend to have that composed feel to it that syncs with our lives. When you play the protagonist you actually feel like you are in the driving shoes. With that, you enjoy every element existing around you. You breathe in it, and you listen to the music as you clank your swords. You sway with control, with power. Maybe that’s why it is hard to achieve that high! If a movie tries to do that it never reaches such levels.
Assassin’s Creed becomes just one of those films that pass you without instigating or compelling you to look.
Check out another gaming movie Rampage‘s review.
Check out the trailer of Assassins Creed Movie: