Assassin’s Creed film fails to break infamous movie curse

Cal Lynch (Michael Fassebender) in th Animus as his assassin ancestor Aguilar uses a bow to fight off incoming Templar in fourteenth century Spain
Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) channels his assassin ancestor Aguilar and uses a bow to fight off incoming Templar in fourteenth century Spain.

Game developer Ubisoft’s first Hollywood blockbuster Assassin’s Creed was released on Dec 23 to excited fans of the popular video game franchise of the same name. The movie follows Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender), the descendant of the assassin Aguilar, and Dr. Sophia Rikkin (Marion Colitard), a scientist at Abstergo Industries. The main selling point of this movie was that it would reportedly break the “video game movie curse”, which has been blamed for the poor reviews of many films based on video games. Sadly, this was not the case.

The movie opens promisingly by throwing viewers directly into the action of the Spanish Inquisition, setting up the conflict between the Assassins and Templar, a secret order obsessed with controlling the world with magical artifacts, in the present day. Cal is sentenced to death after being charged with murder but wakes up in an Abstergo test facility and meets Dr. Rikkin. This is where the movie begins to slow down and show the bland nature of the characters through Cal, whose personality never develops more than blunt, angry and crazy’. Fassbender could do very little to save this character and the same can be said with Colitard, who has very little to work with when it comes to character building. However, some of her best scenes were with Jeremy Irons’s character Allen Rikkin, Sophia’s father, and their push and pull over power of Cal. Sadly, that didn’t do much to help the slow present day scenes that took up a majority of the film.

While character development may not be the movie’s strongest feature, director Justin Kurzel did an amazing job bringing the game’s action into the silver screen. Kurzel made an interesting choice by removing the Animus chair of the game and replaced it for a mechanical arm that allows for Fassbender to perform impressive movements while in the virtual-reality world. The assassin Aguilar (also played by Fassbender) and his partner Maria (Ariane Labed) fighting through the Spanish Inquisition is what makes the movie watchable and helps salvage the boring present day story, but is then quickly interrupted.

Assassin’s Creed is a good movie for fans of the series to see the Assassins and Templar fight on the big screen but sadly fails to connect viewers with the them. The movie’s action and impressive visuals do manage to salvage the film but can’t save it enough to reach anything higher than a two out of five.