Glad to see you guys again. So, I had the day off from work on December 26th. I went to a morning showing of Assassin's Creed and it was a lot of fun. Like the rest of my film reviews, this one is going to include the strengths and weaknesses of the subject. This is my first review about a video game film. Let's check it out.
Overall, I really enjoyed Assassin's Creed. Most video game movies are terrible, but this one is actually pretty good. It's very much like the game series. Stylistically, the movement, action, story, and environment is very characteristic of the Assassin's Creed series. It takes place in a different setting though. Part of the story takes place during the modern era. Certain scenes take place during the Spanish Inquisition. Basically, the series and this movie revolves around a feud between the assassin's and knight templars. Keep in mind, the templars are corrupt and power hungry antagonists in the series. It has high paced action scenes that are very exciting. The environment in 15th century Spain is quite interesting and expansive. It almost looks like the open world environments from the video games. Michael Fassbender is excellent as the lead character. He plays both Callum from our modern time period and the assassin named Aguilar who lived during the Spanish Inquisition. I'm rarely disappointed with Michael Fassbender's performances. Even though Assassin's Creed is based on a video game series, Fassbender still took the part seriously. He fits roguish roles very well and it totally worked in this movie. Fassbender brings out the rough and damaged elements from his characters, but he also comes across as redeemable in other ways. There are weapons galore in this film. Assassin's and templars break out a wide variety of weapons and engage in highly styzlied combat. Again, the video game fans should appreciate that part. Several of the weapons come straight from the game series, including the signature gauntlet switch blades. Marion Cotillard plays one of the antagonists named Sophia Rikkin. She's a knight templar and scientist who wants to learn more about Aguilar and a valuable relic he possessed called the Apple of Eden. Rikkin is downright cold and calculating, but her performance works quite well for the part. She's not completely evil either. Basically, she wants to make the world a better place by eliminating violence. It sounds good, although her methods are questionable. She may seem bland to an audience, but I don't think the part would be effective any other way. This movie is also open ended to pave the way for sequels.
Assassin's Creed has some shortcomings too. I have to admit, this film will primarily appeal to people who played the video game series. Some fans of action movies will probably like it as well. I doubt anyone else will understand the content. The plot seems like total nonsense if you're not familiar with the Assassin's Creed games. Rikkin uses a new form of technology on Callum called the Animus. It was designed to bring out memories from deceased ancestors through the current subject's DNA. Yes, it sounds confusing and utterly preposterous. However, that's also one of the elements in the game series. The Apple of Eden might also seem like a bunch of nonsense. It contains mankind's free will of which the templars want to destroy. After all, free will can lead to violence. Apparently, a peaceful world will be devoid of free will. Sounds terrible. Other characters are not very impressive. Sophia Rikkin's father, Alan, is played by Jeremy Irons. His character is dull and doesn't make a very strong lead antagonist. I think Jeremy Irons is an exceptional actor, but his performance and the overall writing just doesn't work in Assassin's Creed. Most of the supporting characters have little or no development. In a way, Assassin's Creed has the problem we see in a lot of superhero films. The movie has a lot of characters and they don't have a chance to stand out. The flashbacks are also much stronger than the present days scenes. Aguilar is a more impressive character and the action scenes in 15th century Spain are incredible. So, the past events overshadow the current timeline. I wasn't fond of the conclusion either. It didn't feel like a real ending. I guess it's supposed to lead into other films. There are some holes in the plot too. Callum could have easily killed Sophia Rikkin at the end, but he allows her to live for no particular reason. Naturally, she vows to plot revenge against him and the other assassin's. I assume she was kept alive to serve as the main antagonist in future movies. Some people might say Assassin's Creed has too much action and very little substance in the plot. That's somewhat true, but it makes sense for a video game film.
Overall, I believe Assassin's Creed is a good action movie. The story is actually pretty solid, but it will seem very confusing for viewers who are not familiar with the franchise. This is a must see for hardcore gamers. Leave a comment if you want to say anything about this review. This should be my last post of the year, but fear not. I'm going to have plenty of blog posts during 2017. Have fun and happy New Year!