A convicted criminal is taken by a corporations and used to retrace the steps of his assassin ancestor in Assassin’s Creed. For centuries the Knights Templar have been seeking the mythical Apple of Eden, which will allow them to control free will. Their main obstacle is the Assassin’s Creed, who have pledged to protect the Apple at all costs.
In the present day, convicted criminal Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is rescued from his execution by scientist Sophia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) and taken to Abstergo Industries, the modern-day incarnation of the Templar Order, run by Sophia’s father Alan (Jeremy Irons). Callum is placed in a machine called an Animus, which allows him to relive the life of his 15th century Assassin ancestor Aguilar de Nerha. While tasked to find the location where Aguilar hid the Apple of Eden, Callum slowly becomes more sympathetic to the cause of the Assassin’s Creed.
Assassin’s Creed is the film adaptation of the popular video game series of the same name. While the film maintains the basic concept and visuals of the series, it features an original story created specifically for the big screen. Callum Lynch had a troubled life, beginning with his witnessing the murder of his mother by his Assassin father. When he is recruited by Abstergo Industries to locate the Apple of Eden, Callum slowly begins to gain empathy for the Assassin’s Creed, as he fights through the eyes of his ancestor Aguilar.
Assassin’s Creed reunites stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard with director Justin Kurzel, who directed them in last year’s big screen adaptation of Macbeth. Macbeth was known for its exquisite cinematography and some of that is present in Assassin’s Creed, particularly in the scenes taking place during the Spanish Inquisition. However, I personally thought the overall colour-scheme of the film was quite muted and many characters are obscured by shadows in drab and dreary locales.
Filmmakers have been trying for decades now to create a big screen adaptation of a video game that works in satisfying gamers and cinephiles alike. For instance, Warcraft from earlier this year succeeded in bringing the visuals of the games to the big screen, though non-fans probably wouldn’t understand the concepts of the story. In many ways, this is the case of Assassin’s Creed, which has the challenge of telling a story that takes place in two different time periods.
I didn’t fully grasp how the film’s Matrix-like machine Animus the animus works, though it appears like Callum Lynch is following along to the actions performed by Aguilar in 1492 Spain. So, in essence, Assassin’s Creed is one of the future video game adaptations that practically depicts the act of playing the game on screen. It’s a shame that the action of the film isn’t really all that engaging, with it actually feeling like I’m watching someone else play the original video game.
There are undoubtedly worse video game adaptations out there, however I wouldn’t say that Assassin’s Creed ranks with the best either. The film is overall a dull and mediocre action film that you’ll likely forget as soon as the credits roll.