Thursday, February 23, 2017

'Assassin's Creed' Is Another Video Game Movie Disappointment

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.

1 comment:

ChayFay1001 said...

Been reading for a while, just letting you know that Assassins cant recall memories from nowhere, the original games had the Animus as a platform that the present day person would lay on and had a scanner over them, the person was removed regularly so the brain wasn't overly exposed to the memories, hence being consumed and thinking them as their own. In later games the main character from the present saw the past when he was walking around places, which was due to him being in the Animus for too long, it wasnt an ability, it was a side-affect. And the Leap Of Faith, thats not an ability either, its just video games stretching imagination of surviving that type of drop, which no one could of course. The only ability that was unique was Eagle Vision (they could see people that were of interest from distances).
Sorry just correcting your view of the games :)

But I agree with your view on the movie as a whole, not truly a great adaptation, which it had such potential to, they tried to bring so many elements into one movie which spanned multiple games (the Apple of Eden, the visions, the corruption, and the Templars and Assassins history)

Thank you :)
Keep working hard