Video game movies tend to have a huge disconnect with general audiences not familiar with the source material. Assassin’s Creed continues the tradition with a story that is confusing, dreary and devoid of drama or excitement, even when armed with acting heavyweights Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons. I’m sure that Ubisoft’s involvement as a video game company developing Assassin’s Creed for the big screen is sure to please the many fans. But those viewers will be going in with a laundry list of video game elements the Assassin’s Creed must adhere to and nothing more.
As a non-fan, I only have one requirement: To be entertained. If you can’t give me a cohesive story, give me some interesting characters. If you can’t give me that, give me some rousing action sequences. And if you can’t give me that, give me my two hours back.
The premise of Assassin’s Creed is at least interesting, if not inviting. A secret order of templars have been searching centuries for the lost Apple of Eden, an artifact that apparently has the ability to control the free will of man and put an end to violence. That’s a silly MacGuffin, but, whatever, they’re usually pretty ridiculous in these types of pictures.
What’s not as excusable is the odd method in how the templars plan to recover this MacGuffin. Inside a secret stronghold of modern day Madrid, they’ve developed the Animus Project, a simulator that allows a user to live the life of their ancestors through DNA memories (yes, you read the correctly). But the user won’t just see the memories as they’ll get to relive every action and feel every bit of movement and pain as the Animus machine whips them around a room.
Wouldn’t such a complex machine that is facing budgetary constraints from the templars be better suited in uncovering more important mysteries of the past? Apparently, none of that matters so long as they can have that stupid Apple. Such is the flaw of Assassin’s Creed. I guess the media would question why the user HAS to experience every physical action, making the Animus appear less as a time machine and more as the world’s most elaborate virtual reality console.
The Apple was believed to have been stolen by a secret league of assassins devoted to its protection. Callum (Fassbender) is a descendant of one of the top assassins and the templars pluck this criminal from his public execution to be used as their biggest clue for finding the artifact of the past. Not much is revealed about Callum himself before the templars capture him and he’s even less interesting after. What we do know is that he was a criminal who killed a pimp and his father killed his mother.
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