Assassin's Creed (2016): So Close, Yet So Far
This movie is based on the video game, and tells the tale of the ongoing battle between two secret societies; the Assassins and the Knights Templar.
Set in the not so distant future, the Templars create a revolutionary machine called the “Animus” that allows the participant to travel back through time and experience “ancestral memories”. This allows Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) to access the memories of his 15th century ancestor, Aguilar, who was the last assassin to know the whereabouts of an ancient device that could eradicate free will. It was called, The Apple of Eden.
Yet again, I feel that Assassin’s Creed will become another causality of a video game franchise trying to become a movie franchise and fail to resonate with movie audiences. The film has a gifted cast that includes Michael Fassbinder, Marion Coutillard, Jeremy Irons and a talented director, Justin Kurzel. However, the fact of the matter is, no one has been able to find a way to translate the hands-on action of a video game to the silver screen.
With video games, the character becomes an extension of yourself thus translating into the feeling of actually participating in the character’s journey throughout the game. Whereas, with the film, you are watching the actor’s portrayal of the character and in turn lose that connection “being” the character.
Assassin’s Creed isn’t terrible by any means but it takes too much time to set up. In fact, a lot of information throughout is poorly explained and may simply frustrate those that are not already aware of the game itself; those casual movie goers. This also makes it difficult for movie goers to root for the characters. As well, because of how poorly the information is relayed, the audience is able to get ahead of our hero and figure out the plot.
Let’s just say that we still have a long way to go before movies based on video games make you feel like playing the game. Well, at least Assassin’s Creed looks like we’re heading in the right direction.