an ASSASSIN'S CREED musing
While not an avid gamer, I consider myself an expert in the Assassin’s Creed games (just ask Derek Rambo!). This was my first experience of playing and knowing a video game well before the movie comes out, and I think I truly know why video game-to-movie adaptations are so damn hard to pull off. What made the game so fun for me was the fact that the present was used to explore the past, but in the movie, the past was used to explore the present day timeline. In the film, there was nothing from the past timeline to inform the present timeline character-wise, so there was no real connection to any character in the present; when “important” character beats happened, none of it seemed to really matter or affect me. This movie just didn’t know what it wanted to be, and it failed when it tried to update the games’ mythology for a film audience, but absolutely thrilled when delving into incredible action scenes (in the past timeline). So that’s where there’s a huge discrepancy in these adaptations; fan expectations climb so high, they can’t settle for anything less than what the game gave them, while the studio and filmmakers try to appease the gamers and at the same time make a great/approachable film that they come to a middle ground that doesn’t do anything for either side. I came into this movie thinking that an Assassin’s Creed movie couldn’t possibly fail with the pedigree of the actors (Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard/Jeremy Irons), filmmakers and the vast possibilities to expand the universe, but I was let down. Again, the action during the 15th century scenes are flat out incredible, and that’s where I give this movie the 4 out of 10, but otherwise, flat characters and high expectations (and denial) couldn’t save this movie. This and WARCRAFT were supposed to be the ones to save the video game adaptation genre (“You were chosen one!”), but the next adaptation that’s coming out next is TOMB RAIDER with Alicia Vikander (and UNCHARTED after that), but I can only hope that doesn’t let me down as much as this did. I see a potential future for this ASSASSIN’S CREED franchise, but let’s just spend more time in the Animus. Kthxbai.
See this movie for the action and beautiful (and potentially iconic, if the movie itself was any better) shots, but don’t expect much more depth than what’s presented. 4/10.