Verdict: This leap of faith fails to land on its feet.
Given the long list of disastrous video-game adaptations in the previous years, much was riding on the Michael Fassbender starrer Assassin's Creed. This action-drama based on the popular video game franchise of the same name had a fairly simple job to do – be good and boy! It leaves us disappointed.
With each video-game adaption turning out atrocious than its predecessors, a pattern emerges. Studios are known to milk the popularity of the video game franchises for a quick buck, completely disregarding its loyal fan base, and that pretty much seals the fate of the film. Assassin's Creed is an honest attempt.
If you are unaware of the Assassin's lore then they are two central elements that you need to know – The Assassin’s and the Templars. As you guessed, Assassins are the good guys while Templars are the baddies. The Templars are driven by their misguided notion that free will is hindrance to world peace (not so misguided after all) and an ancient artifact known as the Apple Of Eden contains the technology to control free will. That’s the basic premise of the game and as for the movie, Calum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is a direct descendant of the Aguilar De Nerha, an assassin who was last seen with the primordial object. Dr. Sophia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) and her father, Mr. Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), with the help of a prodigious, DNA-tapping machine called the Animus, access Calum’s ancestral past in search of this mystical object.
If you watch the movie without having played the games or read about it on the internet then you’re in for a murky ride. You’ll remain befuddled and wonder ‘what’s going on?’ just like Fassbender does throughout the movie. So we highly suggest, you get acquainted with the basic premise as the director clearly did not target this towards an average Joe. Even if you do get a sense understanding, there isn't much the film does to wow you in any way. Let’s get this straight, you go for a movie such as this for the high intense action scenes and not the mushy-sluggish drama.
Barring a few spectacular action sequences midway through the movie, there’s nothing to keep you excited or on the edge of your seat. Instead we are subjected to Sophia and Rikkin’s complicated father-daughter moments that could have been done without. Everything interesting in the movie comes when the Animus throws Calum back in the Spanish Inquisition era but that too is cut short with sequences of Calum emulating his ancestor’s fighting skills in real life while he is tugged in the machine. You switch from the Spanish era to the present time, back and forth, time and again and that has a jarring effect. It completely throws you off. With that budget and star-cast, we expected a lot better.
Why You Should Watch It:
Watch it for the action sequences midway through the movie that are executed to perfection. That is when you really immerse yourself in the flow of the movie. As for the acting, it’s top notch. Michael Fassbender fans, you do not need a reason to watch this. Go for it this weekend.