Tis the season for presents, and for many boys and girls a video game often becomes the idolized prize. So why not make a movie about this popular media franchise then huh? Robbie K here with another review, this time on Assassin’s Creed starring Michael Fassbender. The track record of movies based on video games isn’t so strong, therefore I was uncertain of the quality of this movie. Will Assassin’s Creed break the trend or is it just another game over? As always, please read on to hear my opinions.
- Fast paced story
- Impressive world creation
- Action, action, action
Much like the video game series, Assassin’s Creed is a tale that moves at a brisk pace. A tense opening gets the adrenaline pumping, before the film jumps into the thrilling journey of Aguilar and his brotherhood. The tale continues to speed through, keeping the excitement going with each passing minute. Don’t fret, there are some slower moments to help you catch up and describe and reestablish the purpose of the action and keeps the flatter parts to a minimum.
Fans of video games know that many titles have incredible worlds for your adventurer to explore. Assassin’s Creed’s world is one such setting, and the movie does a fantastic job recreating the Spanish cities. Both live props and CGI are crafted together in extraordinary detail, bringing with it a sense of nostalgia and a historical atmosphere. The culture is brought to life in the obstacle course of Inquisition age, and the special effects add an extra kick to ramp up the excitement. The modern-day lab setting also has a cool vibe to it, primarily in the chamber where the machine lies. I give props to the design team for the smooth transitions between worlds and figuring out a way to meld the action together. And speaking of action…
Assassin’s Creed’s biggest selling point is the action sequences. Like the plot of the movie, these scenes are fast, adrenaline pumping spectacles that combine martial arts, acrobatics, and a few “runaway” horses. While many of these moments are a little repetitive, the stunt choreography is incredibly well done and well representative of the game. Fassbender’s (and his stunt peoples’) training comes out in full force as you watch them traverse climbing towers and beat up the poor extras. I myself loved the weapon fights and acrobatic moments, especially near the end, listening to all the sound effects ringing through the theater which amps up the scene and immerses you into the fight. Action lovers rejoice, for this is the movie for you.
- Some weak plot elements/Plot gaps
- Some shaky camera elements
- Limited supporting characters
The major weakness of this movie for me is the story elements. For the most part the story does a fine job of balancing character development with a dilemma and goal. The quest to find the elusive Apple of Eden has elements of a treasure hunt, where the clues are located in the psyche rather than an extensive list of hidden object clues. And I kind of enjoyed the flashing back and forth between the present and past, which kept you ground in all aspects of the tales.
However, even with this presentation the plot has some gaps and weaker elements that take away from the story. For one thing, the whole line work in the shadows focus was a bit of a flop for me instead turning to the action element. Sure, there was a bigger plot working in the background, (which was predictable), but the Assassin’s Creed probably should have been retitled Martial Arts creed. In addition, the ending scene seemed a little too easy for the infiltration. For such a threatening group, the Templar have surprisingly lax security and the Assassin’s work at the end was a little anticlimactic despite the set up for a sequel. The whole family drama revolving around Fassbender’s character didn’t fit well for me, and felt little weird/unnecessary in the grand scheme of the movie. As for the supporting characters, their place resides at the end, but outside of that they did little to support the story and were almost unneeded in the grand scheme These plot holes illustrate that the balance was off and their emphasis was more on the stunts and action.However, let it be known that its very difficult to handle the limitation of time in the movies. Assassin’s Creed complete tale had at least 12 hours to pan out, and I felt they did a nice job hitting the highlights. They just needed to bring the presentation a little closer to work.
In regards to the action, as I stated it’s exciting, it’s well choreographed, and it’s a brilliant display of stunts/technology. However, there are times when the camera work is a bit shaky, making for some dizzy spectacles or unnecessary shots. The fact they shot this in 3-D seemed unnecessary as well, for it added little to the world other than blades or arrows poking out of the screen. And while I enjoyed seeing Fassbender’s fights transition between modern and past worlds, they went a little overboard at times to the point it became boring. For the most part though, the action scenes are top notch.
Assassin’s Creed is definitely one of the popcorn flicks of the holiday season. The well-developed world, the fast story, and the constant moving action are certainly the highest selling points of this film. The movie would have been so much more though, if they had been able to pull the story together and give more of a purpose to the whole aspect. In addition, the character development and integration of the supporting characters would have also been nice to see. So, is this movie theater worthy? In regards to the stunts and world yes it will add pizazz with the theater technology, but in terms of the movie overall, hold out until the movie hits Redbox.
Movie Overall: 6.5