Justin Kurzel’s newest film, Assassin’s Creed, has been called one of the best video game based movies made so far. Unfortunately, that isn’t much of a compliment. In this film Callum, played by Michael Fassbender, is captured by the Abstergo Corporation and placed into a machine, the Animus, in order to access and relive memories locked in his genetic code. Using these memories The Corporation, run by The Templars and the Assassin’s sworn enemies, hope to find an ancient relic that will allow them to take control of all free will. As convoluted as that sounds it is pretty much the plot of the first Assassin’s Creed game. However, being able to actually play the game is a bit more entertaining than watching two hours of someone else doing it.
This movie isn’t the worst I’ve seen this year. I give the studio credit for choosing good actors and having amazing special effects. Unfortunately, the lack of story destroys most of their efforts. If they had shortened the many chase scenes and random slow motion intense walking scenes and actually worked on building a back story for the characters it wouldn’t be so bad. As it is, I don’t know enough about any of the characters to care who lives or dies. The random Animus malfunction that allows Callum a Harry Potter-esque reunion with his parents that is scientifically impossible to explain in the Assassin’s Creed universe is the final straw. I say this film is little more than a hot mess.
My final assessment is 2 out of 5 stars. I liked the effects, scenery, wardrobe, and actors enough to finish the film, but without prior knowledge of the game I’m not sure I would have cared enough to watch it at all.