Having a limited release in late December 2016, Assassin’s Creed did not hit theaters until January of 2017. Based on the video games which are extremely popular, it tells the story of Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) who is “executed” only to be brought to a facility run by a doctor named Sofia (Marion Cottilard) and her creepy father Rikkin (Jeremy Irons). I am going to quote the plot as described by IMDB, “Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, before taking on the secret Templar society.” Okay, whatever. Believe me, that is more of a description than this film deserves. Oh, and they are looking for the Apple of Eden which, they think, will eliminate free will and stop all violence.
Assassin’s Creed was much anticipated by fans of the game and the trailers looked interesting, I must confess. But the final product is a big screen bore and really kind of silly. I could not believe that A-list talent like Michael Fassbender, Marion Cottilard and Jeremy Irons would agree to start in such drivel. This film is boring, uninteresting and although it tries, it ends up being a convoluted mess. Starting during the Inquisition, the film jumps back and forth so many times, it really gets to be annoying. The action is tiresomely unoriginal and unrealistic as Cal and his minions jump from roof to roof, off of towers and avoid some of the worst shots from their enemies I have ever seen. These guys could not hit the broad side of a barn.
The acting is sufficient, but no one seems to be having much fun. There is supposed to be some kind of suggestion of budding “relationship” between Cal and Sofia but a Bic lighter has more flame than these two generate. Jeremy Irons is wasted, for the most part, and only shows up looking like he can’t wait to get paid and get out of there. I don’t blame him. That is what I wanted to do, too. But I hung in there. The original cut of this film was a whopping two and a half hours. Wisely the studio cut it down to just under two hours. I have no idea if the longer cut was a better film or not, but it could not be much worse.
Assassin’s Creed is technically efficient in the sense that some fans of the game will revel in this film’s madness. They won’t mind the choppy editing, dingy cinematography, long drawn out action sequences that are repetitive and generic. Don’t even get me started on the dialogue between Cal and Sofia. The script is ludicrous but what do you expect when two of the three writers, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, penned scripts for Exodus: Gods and Kings, Transporter: Refueled and Allegiant (from the Divergent franchise). The third writer, Michael Lesslie, who wrote Fassbender’s Macbeth did not seem to be able to lift this material up past video game quality, either. Only the score by Jed Kurzel stands out in this otherwise dreary and dull film. Believe me, you don’t need to waste any time or money on this film, only its score.
Assassin’s Creed – * 1/2 out of 5
Assassin’s Creed – Rated PG-13 for language, violence and some gore
Assassin’s Creed – Runtime is 115 minutes.
Assassin’s Creed is now available on DVD, On Demand and subscription services. Check your area for listings, availability and pricing.