Directed by Justin Kurzel
Written by Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling and Michael K. Williams
As a longtime fan/player of the game series, I have always felt that “Assassin’s Creed” is a game that would have made a great movie, add to that the fact the talent behind the movie was also involved in last year’s adaptation of “Macbeth.” Which was an excellent adaptation, by the way. The math equates to this finally being the movie that breaks Hollywood’s video game movie curse. Well, they came close but unfortunately, no cigar. At this point video game movies are like fetch – for those who have seen “Mean Girls” – and Hollywood needs to stop trying to make fetch happen. The major studios know that the days of the superhero are numbered and want to get to the next gold mine ASAP, and they want that gold mine to be video games.
To the movie’s credit Justin Kurzel did direct the movie well. The action sequences were excellent and felt like they had come straight out of the game. The movie was well shot, maybe a little too well shot considering the overall quality of this film. Much of the cinematography in “Assassin’s Creed” was outstanding, much like the cinematography in Kurzel’s version of “Macbeth.” I also found the authenticity that Kurzel brought to the film to be fantastic. The parts of the movie that take place in 15th century Spain, the characters speak Spanish and only Spanish.
The cinematography and the action sequences are the only things worth praising in this film because this film has the same problem that the game has: at some point, you leave the Animus (it’s like the matrix). Nothing fun happens outside the Animus. There is too much cutting in and out of the Animus, which is not necessary because everything outside of the Animus should have been condensed to the bookends of the film, requiring no leaving of the Animus at all. These cuts even happen during the action sequences, likely to keep the violence in the movie at a PG-13 level. While all these cuts do take a little away from the action sequences, the sequences are still great sequences.
The scripting of the movie is average; it is the same plot as the game – MacGuffin and all – I believe that the film should have been more about the political struggle between the Assassins and the Templars because that conflict provides fuller and richer material to work with for a film. The performances are average, but considering the actors who are giving the performances, subpar is a better term for the performances in this movie.
Overall, I would say “Assassin’s Creed” is a good adaptation of the game, but not a great movie. It was a missed opportunity to make a great movie because they were likely more concerned with adapting the game than making a good movie. For what it is worth it was good adaptation of the game