Michael Fassbender in 'Assassin's Creed'. Pic/YouTube
Director: Justin Kurzel
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Ariane Labed, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson
A fundamentally messy video game to movie, potential franchise, 'Assassin's Creed' has its assassins wearing Templar period (1492) clothing and jumping all over the rooftops and cobblestones in a time frame that represents the most violent period of European history.
And why do they do that? Because there's this scientist duo father-daughter (Jeremy Irons and Marion Cotillard) of current period, who are in search of Adam and Eve's Apple (considered to be the origin of free will), the control of which can put an end to violence once and for all. It's quite an ambitious project and the house of Elders are threatening to pull out funding – but just in time the duo find a death row convict Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) whose DNA strain suggests that his ancient antecedents had everything to do with Aguilar de Nerha, a distant relative who's also a member of the Assassins, a secret society that fights to protect free will from the power-hungry Templar Order.
Farfetched though this origin story may be, director Justin Kurzel takes a determined and deliberate route to the telling of it - beginning with a young boy running away from his mother's murder and 30 years later, ending up on death row. There's plenty of superlative action, but it's not always cogent or coherent in its reasoning. The set-up is blasé and incomprehensible and the rest is so willfully pretentious and contrived that it seems outlandish. Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender are the only two who make the experience feel much more worthy than it is. Their innate sincerity and the extraordinary depth they lend to character play makes it at least hallway believable.
The ridiculous can often be fun if it's treated the right way. Unfortunately for 'Assassin's Creed', the turgid, too serious treatment leaves you wondering how wildly implausible can an overactive imagination get. The screenplay may be faulty but the visuals are faultless. This film has Fassbender himself as one of the principle producers, so there probably was a whole lot of expectations riding on its gamey appeal. For the video game fans, this may be just what the doctor ordered, but for cinema lovers, it's just another convert (like 'Mortal Kombat', 'Dungeons And Dragons' and whole lot of other illegitimate spawns) that doesn't quite work!
Watch 'Assassin's Creed' trailer