Director Justin Kurzel, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard on paper, have been seen as a dream team ever since their collaboration on 2015’s Macbeth.
With the three teaming up again for the game adaptation of Assassin’s Creed excitement beyond belief murmured for something insanely amazing. We should never have held our breath for a beautiful delight as Assassin’s Creed is nothing but a confusing headache wrapped up in the cloak of Brotherhood.
Should have guessed that while the Assassin’s Creed game was an instant blockbuster, the film which ventures down the same bumpy, long and winding road of previous game adaptation’s – Jake Gyllenhaal’s 2010 Prince of Persia – is just a bit of an expensive Turkey – Whilst visually, you can expect the same beautiful sun-kissed orange hue Kurzel submerged the audience in with Macbeth but where a coherent script is concerned you can forget it – Michael Fassbender sums it up with one simple line “What the Fuck is Going on”? Nothing makes any real sense with just a vague outline of why and how Fassbender’s Cal Lynch ends up in the clutches of Abstergo Industries which has Jeremy Irons Rikkin at its helm alongside his daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) – whose lack of any character depth screams lazy filmmaking contributes to a lacklustre script.
Starting off with Cal as a young child, having witnessed his mother dead at the hands of his cloaked father, his life turns out to be filled with violence and crime. As an adult we see Cal incarcerated for his crimes and destined for the death penalty. But Sofia Rikkin, her Father and the Abstergo Industries have other plans for Cal. Diving straight in with a lack of dialogue the mess that is Assassin’s Creed begins when Cal is connected to some kind of robotic arm called an Animus, a technological advancement that connects a person’s DNA to genetic memories that transport him back to 15th century Spain where his ancestors – The Assassin’s – are all about fighting to protect their freedom from the oppressive Templar Order.
With each journey back to the 15th Century – which at times plays out like a projector showing a holographic film – we are subjected to fight scene after fight scene, which even though displayed with expert precision with well-executed choreography, becomes increasingly wearisome as there seem no real purposes into its reasoning. What also jars is the lack of explanation as to who the other inmates are in the institute and who they are in relationship to Cal; all seem to be weary of Cal, who they think will hand over their secret.
Fassbender, Cotillard and Iron’s are in no way at fault in the monotonous passage of the film and do a grand job with what they have to work with. It’s extremely frustrating that this film has a lot of potential, especially if the storyline and character development had taken precedent instead of knowing how financially popular the game franchise is so why not cash in on that with a vague story which just plays like a rush job from an amateur screenwriter just to make a big buck.
Assassin’s Creed Hits Cinemas January 1st 2017