Assassin’s Creed (2016)

assassins creed poster 2015 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good looking, good cast

Squanders everything on a forgettable story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Assassin’s Creed

Studio:  New Regency Productions/Ubisoft

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  December 13, 2016 (Premiere)/December 21, 2016 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

assassins creed animus cal michael fassbender

Enter the Animus…if you dare!

Witnessing the death of his mother at the hands of his father at a young age sends the life of Callum into a tailspin that he cannot recover from.  Spending time in and out of prison, Callum “Cal” Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is sentenced to death…but discovers a whole new life.  Cal is spared from death by the Abstergo Foundation who has need of him and his lineage.  Cal is a descendant of assassins and through technology developed by Dr. Sofia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard), Cal’s ancestors can be accessed in an attempt to find the location of the legendary Apple of Eden.  Entering the Animus, Cal is thrust into his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha’s past…but things in the past are starting to surface in the future.

Directed by Justin Kurzel, Assassin’s Creed is an action-adventure science-fiction thriller.  The film is a spin-off adaptation of the popular video game series that was first released in 2007.  It received negative reviews and underperformed at the box office.

I love the Assassin’s Creed series and Assassin’s Creed II is one of my all-time favorite modern video games.  The stealth and energy combine to form a great video game story…and Assassin’s Creed squanders the story and the actors.

assassins creed leap of faith michael fassbender

Can you take a leap of faith with Assassin’s Creed (answer: no)

The film just slogs.  The movie creates an original storyline and character in Callum Lynch and sidelines the story of the game.  It does tie into the game and include aspects of the game (like Desmond Miles, Callum is searching for the Apple), but in choosing to go a different direction with the story, the movie doesn’t have the energy…in fact, there is too much time spent outside of the Animus and not enough inside to really establish either Callum or his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha.  The movie also ends in a quasi-cliffhanger with the expectation of sequels…which didn’t happen.

I like Michael Fassbender (who also helped produce the movie), but the he isn’t good here.  Like many of his other roles, he plays a rather moody lead, but unlike Magneto or even David from Prometheus, he doesn’t have enough character to work with.  Also underused are Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons who plays her father.  Brendan Gleeson plays a very un-assassin assassin as Fassbender’s father and Charlotte Rampling is also in the mix as one of the heads of the Templars.  Michael K. Williams plays Moussa who was a character in Assassin’s Creed III:  Liberation.

assassins creed animus michael fassbender memories

The past comes back to haunt you

One thing cool about Assassin’s Creed is the blend of cybernetic technology and old-world fighting.  The Animus allows a person to leave this weird Cronenberg blending of flesh and electronics and enter a world which is so far away from this…Assassin’s Creed the movie just plays it more for a toy that doesn’t have the cool factor.  While the game reveals that the memories go both way as the player plays through the story, the movie just reveals it outright…there is no surprise factor for Callum becoming a great assassin because of Aguilar Nerha.

If you like the Assassin’s Creed games, you will probably be disappointed by the movie.  If you like Michael Fassbender, you will be disappointed that he isn’t at his best here.  If you like tense action thrillers, Assassin’s Creed also misses the mark.  Overall, the film is largely a forgettable disappointment and leaves you realizing a money grab that attempts to check all the marks (adaptation, good actors, and visuals) needs more than the core requirements…it needs heart, and Assassin’s Creed just doesn’t have it.

Related Links:

Assassin’s Creed

Assassin’s Creed II

Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin’s Creed:  Brotherhood

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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