Director: Justin Kurzel
Writer: Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Based on: the video game franchise
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Kenneth Williams, Denis Ménochet, Ariane Labed, Khalid Abdalla, Essie Davis
Seen on: 5.1.2017
Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) was sentenced to die. But the Abstergo Company fake his death instead and bring him to Madrid. As Abstergo’s CEO Rikkin (Jeremy Irons) explains, Cal’s ancestor belonged to a brotherhood of assassins, and they need him to access his own genetic memories to find the Apple of Eden, an artifact that belongs to the Templars and that has been historically protected by the Assassin’s Creed. Cal is more than reluctant to participate until Rikkin’s daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) puts him into the Animus – a machine that makes it able to access his genetic memories.
Assassin’s Creed was impressively nonsensical and it was far from pretty enough to make up for the incredible stupidity. I saw it on January 5th and it was clearly one of my biggest mistakes of the year that I did not bring alcohol to the screening.
Look, I’m willing to accept the genetic memory thing. It’s a stretch from epigenetics to what we see in the franchise, of course, but fine, it’s their world, they can do what they want as long as they stick to their own rules. But I’m afraid that The Apple was a stretch too far for me. The Apple of Eden contains the genetic code for free will (which is already a very shady concept, but okay, if we have to) and who owns the code to free will controls it – and can take it away from people as well. Which is the point at which I wanted to scream.
To be fair, until we reach that point there is a lot of badly scripted dialogue and weird structuring of the plot already, so I had already given up any hope that anything about this film would make sense at all. So even if the idea behind this particular McGuffin makes more sense than it seems at first glance, I was way past being willing to use any brain power for a hopeless cause.
And it wasn’t just the writing that was sub-par. I’m not much of a gamer myself and I never played any of the Assassin’s Creed games. But what I’ve seen of them makes it obvious that they are visually captivating games. And I expected the film to look great and have some exciting parkour-y foot chases. Instead the film looked like shit. And that was probably its biggest mistake (apart from not having Fassbender be nude a lot).
I really couldn’t find a redeeming feature of the film. It’s a disappointing outing in pretty much every regard. And it was absolutely boring with it. Not even as somebody who likes Fassbender, Cotillard, Irons, Gleeson and Williams as actors can I recommend watching it.
Summarizing: Play the games, I hope you’ll have more fun that way.