By Cynthia Ayala
“When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.”
When you’re adapting a video game into a film there will always be challenges because some have very little stories to them and are just “beat-em-up” games while others have this amazing story lines that the gamers and critics loved. There is always a challenge to allow for some creative license while also adapting a story. Assassin’s Creed follows under the latter.
This is not a direct copy of the game, there are some different characters used in the film to make it work and make it work but some of the more central themes are kept to make the this an adaptation and not just a film with the same name. Now I know I’m late to the party, this film has been out for a while, so I’ve seen the reviews, I know that it’s pretty much getting slammed by critics. Not this one. I will say this before I continue anymore: I haven’t played the game (it’s on my list to play though) so I’m not going to judge this film as an adaptation only as the film itself.
It was a decent film. I will agree that it’s probably not Fassbender’s best performance, but it also wasn’t a terrible performance. It’s clear that his heart was in the project and he captured the intensity of this torn character he’s playing, a convict with a violent past who *SPOILER ALERT* found his mother murdered by his father. He’s a troubled guy who is lost. Callum (Fassbender) is a lost character who has no family and no sense of direction in his life. Through the animus which works like regression therapy, only on the next level, submerging the person into the past life memories and bringing those to life for people to see. But the story was solid, it had a beginning, a middle, and an end and told a comprehensive story that was easy to follow for audiences. It was enjoyable and focused on who Callum was, focused on the characters around him to show how they all fit together. There’s character growth for Callum as he discovered his past and the importance of it. There are some slow moments in the film but they do work to build up other characters other than Callum and how the present and the past are supposed to work together.
The film could have done with less split scenes. One second we’re in the past watching these cool visuals and then the next we’re watching the same thing and how it works within the animus. It wasn’t essential to the story to see those scenes take place in two different views because it took away some of the magic and every time it happens it takes the viewer out of the scene. Many of those could have been cut to just focus on the past and who Callum was within the regression. Watching some of those fight sequences would have been more powerful and honestly just cooler to watch.
At the end of the day, as a film it was enjoyable. I can’t say how good it is as an adaptation, maybe one day in the future I’ll do that, but for right now, check out the film, it’s worth it. (★★★☆☆ | B)
Directed by Justin Kurzel
Screenplay by Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper & Bill Collage
Based on Assassin’s Creed by Ubisoft
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling & Michael K. Williams
Rating | Length | Genre: PG-13 | 1h 55min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Distributed by 20th Century Fox