Based on the hit action-adventure video game franchise, Assassin’s Creed tells the story of a suspected murderer named Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) who is plucked from death row and then thrown into an age-old secret war between Assassins and Templars. Abducted by the Abstergo Foundation – which is run by modern day Templars – Lynch is fastened into the Animus, a machine that lets him tap and relive the genetic memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha (also played by Fassbender), an Assassin during 15th century Spain. Through exploiting Lynch – or rather Aguilar’s memories through him – they intend to find the location of the “Apple”, which supposedly holds the genetic code for free will, and use it to control the world. However, the more Lynch gets to access Aguilar’s memories, the more he learns the secrets and combat skills he needs to topple his Templar captors.
I haven’t played the game, but I’ve watched gameplays and streams of it in Youtube. And my understanding was limited to what I got from those videos. Assassins are the good guys; Templars are the bad guys. Assassins have this ability to tap into the memories of their Assassin ancestors, and that they have the ability called “Leap of Faith”, which allows them to jump from very tall heights but still survive the fall. That’s it. That’s all I know of the lore going into the movie. Hence, the premise of the movie still felt new to me. For example, the Animus was a surprise, since I thought the ability to recall ancestors’ memories was something innate to Assassins. Thus, as a result, I found a lot of intriguing things about its story.
That said, the writing doesn’t make sense in many aspects. I don’t know if the game’s story is anything like that, but there were a couple of ridiculous, dumb things about it, like the administration of Abstergo Foundation and how the Animus works (the Animus initially helped make the plot interesting, but in retrospect, I prefer if the Assassins’ ability of recalling their ancestors’ memories has a fantasy basis instead of a sci-fi one). It’s also exposition heavy at times, disrupting the pace, and some of the dialogue was pretentiously cringy.
The action is messy half the time. I kind of expected exciting fluidity in its fight scenes, but there was a minimum of that, if any. The directing and editing could have used more effort in this regard,
There’s some fun to be had from Assassin’s Creed. But it’s objectively boring for stretches, too. Despite having a great cast and a cool premise, it fails to break the curse of disappointing video game movies.