Assassin's Creed Review

Assassin’s Creed. We have plenty of Assassin’s Creed games here at IndieGala during the Ubisoft Sale. Lots of Assassin’s Creed entertainment to choose from in these dark and isolating times. So, naturally, we thought that it’s a good idea to revisit the 2016 Assassin’s Creed movie. Because why not?

Assassin’s Creed: Was the time kind to this movie?

Assassin’s Creed. Almost 4 years have passed since the premiere of the video game adaptation. And although it was a commercial and critical flop back in late 2016, has it improved over time?

Indeed some movies need time to age and ferment like fine wine. They somehow get better with time indeed. It seems like that the overall perception of those movies change with time. But, was that the case with Assassin’s Creed, 4 years after the release?

Assassin’s Creed: Still dull and unimaginative

While at the time, a sequel was announced, several years down the line the Assassin’s Creed sequel was canceled. A rather safe move, since Disney (and with Disney 21 Century Fox) didn’t want to suffer anymore embarrassment. I can’t blame them personally.

Assassin's Creed Scene

Assassin’s Creed: What’s it all about?

Michael Fassbender’s Callum “Cal” Lynch character takes the center stage here indeed. He’s a death row convict and after getting a bogus execution, will be transferred to a secret facility in Madrid.

The CEO of Abstergo Foundation, Alan Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), and his daughter (Marion Cotillard) are going to use Callum Lynch.

Even more, thanks to the Animus project, they’ll connect Callum to his 15th-century ancestor called Aguilar de Nerha. And with his help get to try and get the Apple of Eden.

They want it and they’ll stop at nothing to get it.

Assassin’s Creed: It had so much potential

 Frankly, let me mention the potential this movie had was evident. In contrast to some other video game adaptations, Assassin’s Creed has 2 Academy Award winners’ and 2 Academy Award nominees in the cast.

Probably the finest bunch of character actors you can possibly have. And almost none of them are given the respect that they deserve. In terms of the quality of the script of course. The dialogue seems stiff, convoluted, and sterile most of the time, and the performances are much like that as well.

It’s unfortunate that talents like Jeremy Irons, Marion Cotillard are wasted here. But I think that the real travesty is done with the supporting cast. Michael K. Williams, Brendan Gleeson, and Charlotte Rampling barely have any screen-time

Besides not utilizing their talent, their presence in Assassin’s Creed seems like not just a waste of their time. Probably a slap in their faces, but there’s a beacon of hope in the cast.

Indeed his name is Michael Fassbender. You can see the effort Fassbender has put in this role. In addition to bearing the entire movie on his shoulders, Fassbender is credited as the co-producer as well. So you just know that this was more than just a regular movie to him.

Assassin's Creed GIF from Assassin's Creed Movie

Style over substance?

And you can almost feel the dedication. His fight choreographs are on point. His physical prep too. Clearly there was a lot of love put into this role as well (at least on his part). Next, the stunts, the fights, and the entire physical part of the role are exquisite.

However, it’s the way that they’re captured on camera that worried me. As I reminded myself of this movie yet again, I noticed that the direction couldn’t capture all the hard work from Fassbender and Ariane Labed.

Justin Kurzel’s director failed to capture the excitement, the thrill of the action, and to transform it to the viewer. However, in terms of visual representation, I must applaud the cinematography in this movie.

Adam Arkapaw’s work in the cinematography department made a clear and smart choice in depicting the two separate settings (and timelines for that matter).

For example, he cleverly chose grey-ish blue pallets for the scenes in the research facility in Madrid and earthly almost sunny and bright colors for the scenes sets in Andalusia.

A rather nice touch I must add. Because you see, the grey/blue tones represent the sterile and cold environment in the Abstergo Foundation, while the bright and sunny colors are great for the warmth of Andalusia.

The script is the problem as well

However, the biggest culprit for the lack of quality is the poor and underdeveloped script. In all honesty, a script is the movie’s backbone and when that lacks quality, it can quickly ruin a perfectly good movie.

Consequently, the script is the weakest link in Assassin’s Creed. Not only that it gave us a bland and at times convoluted story to follow, but it also gave us bland characters.

There’s hardly any character that’s worth remembering as a result of the poor scrip. You hardly even care about the lead too. Not to mention, that it makes for a less invested audience in general. You just don’t care about the story, the characters, or anything else in this movie.

I’m not a gamer per se, but I’ve seen the passion and time that my husband invests while playing the Assassin’s Creed games. I hear that they’re great. On the other hand, Assassin’s Creed – the movie isn’t. It’s, in fact, a very dull movie.

Although there were some points to be made and themes to explore, almost none of them were scratched beyond the surface. Most notably, the Templar’s efforts to eliminate violence by using the Apple of Eden.

Ultimately, this movie is a waste of perfectly good recourses. The incredible source material is there but made confusing for the ordinary Joe.

Next, the incredible cast is reduced to sterile and boring one-dimensional characters. Besides, that’s the overall feel of the movie itself. Boring and not worth investing for the most part. Do I even need to touch on the relation (or rather lack of) to the actual video games?

Your thoughts

What are your thoughts about the Assassin’s Creed movie? Did you like it? And what’s your opinion on it, almost 4 years later? Tell us in the comments below.

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