Assassin’s Creed (2016) | Non-Spoiler Review

For almost the whole year, Assassin’s Creed was one of my most anticipated movies of the year. With a cast featuring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons and directed by Justin Kurzel, the man behind Macbeth, I was so excited for this project. Then the first trailer came out and while it wasn’t the best, my excitement level didn’t change. Unfortunately, Assassin’s Creed continued the curse of video game movies. While it didn’t garner a positive critic response, I enjoyed this film a lot.

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

What I found interesting about the film is the real energertic quality it has, it rarely lets down. I’d argue that the beginning is very rushed in a way, they maybe could have built up Cal a bit more, I can just imagine the suits going “okay guys, we want to get to the Animus as fast as possible, that’s what people want to see”, it feels that way, but it didn’t bother me too much because it just goes with a bang.

I was fully engaged with the plot and it is really simple. You can tell they made a conscious effort to make it accessible to everyone. The dialogue is very weak, they should have done another pass on that. There are some cheesy moments with Fassbender but I could forgive him. The second regression alone is worth the price of admission. The action is truly great, the movements actually felt like the video game. The free-running that the games glorify is very present and the leaps of faith made me smile from cheek to cheek. The period aspect is great but I found myself more invested in the present events. I wish the movie was longer and we’d spent more time in the past which could have balanced the movie a lot better.

There’s a great, very quiet, atmospheric scene between Gleeson & Fassbender, that was a nice change of pace, and then the film goes again like crazy and I dug that. I hate being one of those guys but if you like the video game series, you’ll enjoy the film. There are name drops like the leaps of faith, the bleeding effect, and pieces of Eden. The performances are solid, the score is fantastic and the cinematography is excellent. I’d say there’s more sheer quality filmmaking on display than in any other video game adaptation so far, maybe that doesn’t mean much, but it needs to be said. I definitely want a sequel, and I can see this do better than expected, the action alone is just worth it.



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