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Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Reviewed by on Dec 24, 2016
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Assassins Creed has taken the leap of faith from game consoles to the big screen. Does it break the curse of video game movies or rise above the competition? Read Kidzworlds movie review!

By: Max Cannon

When the first trailer for Assassin's Creed hit my eyes I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Most video games aren't well suited for the transition to the big screen but I thought Assassin's Creed could actually work. And what a cast! Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons? That's an A-list selection of actors. And the director, Justin Kurzel, reunites with Fassbender and Cotillard after their work on last year's Macbeth.

The only thing this movie could possibly do wrong is to use a bad script.

And oh man, did they use a bad script.

The end of Callum Lynch's first life, leading to the start of his next two.The end of Callum Lynch's first life, leading to the start of his next two.Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Past To Present

Callum Lynch, played by Fassbender, is a death row inmate who is killed by lethal injection. However he is woken up from death by the Abstergo corporation. Turns out that Lynch's ancestor, Aguilar, knew how to find an item that Abstergo was after - even if it was back in the 15th Century. So an Abstergo engineer, played by Marion Cotillard, hooks Callum into the Animus which is a machine that allows you to relive the memories of your ancestors. 

Aguilar is a member of the Assassins, a group of killers who intend to stop the Templars from taking free will from the world. The Templars, which run Abstergo in modern day, think they can control mankind and permanently put a stop to violence. Though Callum relives Aguilar's memories he also develops some of his physical characteristics. In his modern world Callum can run, jump, and climb like his distant relative can and he gets better and better as he spends more time there.

A chase is one of the action-packed highlights of the movie.A chase is one of the action-packed highlights of the movie.Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

An Unsuccessful Leap of Faith

That's a great setup but the execution is what hurts the movie. Much like the games, the story quickly becomes confusing because the rules are being explained to you from beginning to end. Really, almost all of my major criticisms of story in Assassin's Creed the movie are synched up - pun intended for fans of the franchise - with my criticisms of Assassin's Creed the game.

It's a lot to take in and it can definitely feel overwhelming and confusing for newcomers. If you've played the games before, of which I've played 9, then you've had a long time to learn the rules of the world. The movie does a good job of assuming that you've never played the games - maybe too good of a job - and crams every bit of information it can into the movie. Like I said, overwhelming.

Like the game, the present day moments are less interesting than the excursions into the past.Like the game, the present day moments are less interesting than the excursions into the past.Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

I think a reason the movie feels so overwhelming is that it lacks a single bit of happiness or joy. The story is overly serious without even a glimpse of light shining through its dark storm clouds, which really hurts this movie. The highlights of the Assassin's Creed games are the characters that bring some fun into the world. Ezio, Captain Kenway, Arno, these were some of my favorite characters because they weren't afraid to make a joke or have some fun. Aguilar and Callum share some characteristics with the weaker characters in the series.

But it's not all bad! There are some awesome chase scenes, some expected by satisfying performances by the leads, and some top tier stunts, set design, and CGI. You're not wrong to get some excitement out of this movie, especially if you love seeing a beloved franchise on the big screen. But this movie is far from great. 

Action is high quality in Assassin's Creed.Action is high quality in Assassin's Creed.Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Final Thoughts

There's a good movie hidden in the Assassin's Creed universe and I hope they get another chance. Much like Assassin's Creed 2 the game, there's a strong chance the sequel could knock it out of the park. The cast is there, the setup is there, the setup is there but the story needs another look. If you turn the movie on as a fan of Assassin's Creed and you really, REALLY want to like it then you probably will. But if you're a standard passerby just checking out a movie then you may want to make another choice this Christmas.

Assassin's Creed Movie Rating:3

Assassin's Creed Movie PosterAssassin's Creed Movie PosterCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Assassin's Creed is in theaters now!

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