By: Reel 127 (Four Beers) –
Even if you have never played an “Assassin’s Creed” video game you have probably heard of it. Especially after Unity shit the bed for the franchise. But now after taking a break from the games a movie has come! And with an all-star cast too. What should have been a hit film turned out to be a mess of ideas that makes it hard to tell if this being made by a studio or by Ubisoft at any given moment. Assassin’s Creed is the story of Callum Lynch, a son of assassins who must relive the memories of his ancestor Aguilar in order to find an artifact for the evil Templars. It’s an interesting premise that has kept the franchise going for so long. But if this is their best attempt at a movie then they should stick to video games.
The production design is excellent for this film. Not only for Aguilar’s story in 1492, but the present day scenes in Abstergo have a great look to them. It looks just like something you would expect to see from the game. I only wish they could have captured more of the great things from the games. It was also an interesting choice to have all the scenes in 1492 be spoken in Spanish. Most movies would just have everyone speak English with Spanish accents. Not even the games were willing to take this step. This is probably the only thing the movie does better than the games.
The pacing is really off on this movie and it is not at all for the normal reason where the writer has no idea what they are doing. The filmmakers were trying to fit two whole stories into one movie. Stories that should have each had their own movie to fully develop. What ends up happening is the whole thing feels rushed. I was surprised when the climax for the film came because it seemed like there was so much they hadn’t gotten to yet. Even Aguilar, who could have been really interesting to develop, got his entire backstory rushed into a single line of dialogue. No really, you’ll miss it if you go to get concessions at the wrong time.
Remember! The most interesting protagonists
are the ones whose identity can be fit into one sentence.
It is hard to tell where this movie fits into the “Assassin’s Creed” canon. They were willing to get rid of the main characters of the games and tell their own original story using the lore and world of “Assassin’s Creed.” The main goal of the story is to find the Apple of Eden. I put emphasis on “the” because in the game there are five apples, potentially more. They spend so much time with exposition about the war of assassins and Templars you think they would throw in some exposition that this is one of the pieces of Eden (they are plenty more with different abilities). This film could have been presented as one of the battles for a Piece of Eden in a larger war that would spread out over the sequels. You know. Like the games did!
They forgot to mention a Piece of Eden healed Jesus.
Nothing is true.
For those of you who are thinking, “Well, this is a movie. It should stand alone on its own regardless of how it fits into the franchise.” And I completely agree, that is the most important thing. But in doing this it just alienates the hardcore fans of the games. By making the changes they did to accommodate the movie they were effectively ruining their chance at making this into a successful film franchise.
This may be nitpicking at this point, but why didn’t they just make a movie about Ezio? Ezio’s story was the most successful part of the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise and why a lot of people got into playing the games. They wouldn’t even have to do a modern day setting. They could have just made a movie set entirely in Renaissance Italy that tells Ezio’s story. It’s interesting enough and being a period piece could draw in a new audience. Plus, presenting the fan favorite of the franchise on the big screen would draw in every person who played a game.
Now you’ll never get to see an Italian fight the Pope on the big screen!
The easiest way to sum up how I feel about this is disappointed. It failed to be a good enough film, or even good enough fan service. I think fans of the games can get some enjoyment from the references to the source material. Plus the action scenes can be entertaining when they do happen. If there is nothing else you think you want to see now with all these movies coming out, then this one has a few things that are better to see on a big screen. Though if you never saw it you would not be missing out. It’s sad that they likely won’t make a sequel because Rogue One will make it flop at the box office. It would have been good to see if they could fix the problems they had in this one by their second film.
Assassin’s Creed (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time someone says “assassin” or “Templar.”
Take a Drink: every time someone uses a hidden blade.
Take a Shot: every time the creed is recited.
Take a Drink: every time someone puts on or removes their hood.
Do a Shot: every time they cut before an iconic leap of faith is finished.