It may have weapons, action, the look of a video game movie and Michael Fassbender, but the film adaptation of one of the most popular video game franchises next to ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Call of Duty’ is not just the snoozer that this year’s ‘Warcraft’ (another adaptation of a popular video game.) was, it is also the most mindless, confusing, PG-13-rated excuse of a movie that tries to pander to fans and gamers alike, yet can’t work as an actual movie. Besides Fassbender, you also have Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Irons to join the cast, but they really can’t save this film. Instead, we are left to sit through video game-like cinematography featuring a cameo by a CG-bird that flies every now and then, poorly handled action sequences with the choppiest editing I’ve seen, (which is thankfully not as frustrating as the editing in ‘Moulin Rouge’) and a plot point that seems to flip-flop with the point it’s trying to get across.
Fassbender plays Callum Lynch, a criminal who is about to be put to death, but in the most unusual way, as he isn’t really dead, he just gets sent to a rehabilitation facility run by Cotillard’s Sophia Rikkin and Irons’ Alan Rikkin (her father, mind you.). Trust me, I was as confused as you are now by just reading this, but I guarantee that this is when the film confirms itself as terrible.(If that intro with that bird didn’t convince you, then that plot hole will.) From that moment on, the film never truly redeems itself. There are a lot of missed opportunities, not just plot-wise, but also for a way to get itself the R-rating it truly deserves. (If there is an alternate director’s cut, you bet I would like to see it; I assure it would be much better than this slap-in-the-face.) The games themselves were rated M for bloodshed, among other things. Instead, we just see unrealistic violence that would seem fit for a stage musical about pirates. The only time I saw a PG-13 rating work in a movie based on an M-rated game was the first ‘Mortal Kombat’; the only difference between the two, being that it was fun while still having the cheesy look and feel of the game with a bit of decapitation thrown in to confirm it. ‘Assassin’s Creed’ is not fun, but is instead one long drag through flashes between the past and present that could easily pass for an almost two-hour nap.
Before I get too carried away, I have to explain what Lynch is doing in that facility in the first place. For some reason, the Rikkin’s brought him there as a way to redeem himself by using this claw-like machine called the Animus in order to trace himself back to his assassin ancestor Aguilar (also played by Fassbender), who was around during the Spanish Inquisition, in order to retrieve this orb called the “Apple of Eden”, which contains the secret that provides free will, in order to eradicate that choice. (Which is ironic, because most of this movie uses violence as a way to reach that objective. Shame on you, movie!) Then again, we don’t get enough of the action during those Animus sequences. Instead, we get scenes of Fassbender growling each line. Just because Irons and Cotillard are in this doesn’t mean you have to impress them with a Batman impersonation. You are better than this, Fassbender! I mean, you were Steve Jobs for one year! Where did it all go wrong?!
To be honest, I might have played a bit of an ‘Assassin’s Creed’ one time, but never actually played the series as a whole to even judge. Maybe fans of the games will enjoy this, but I doubt it. We’re not here to watch someone play a video game, we are watching an actual movie, and ‘Assassin’s Creed’ deserves to be criticized as such. I could see this instead being cut-scenes to an actual ‘Assassin’s Creed’ game instead of on a big screen. If I were you, I would suggest just sticking to an actual game instead of paying money to see this unbelievable abomination!