‘Assassin’s Creed’ in 200 words

It’s always nice to start the year on a positive note. Alas, in 2017 it was not to be.

Adapted from Ubisoft’s flagship videogame franchise, convicted murderer Callum Lynch is kidnapped by a shadowy order of Templars and plugged into their Animus machine to relive the memories of his ancestor; a 15th century Spanish assassin.

Announced way back in 2011, this film has been a long time coming, but those with high hopes should brace themselves for disappointment.

The plot is nonsensical and the central performances illustrate that even outstanding actors can only do so much with a horrible script. Michael Fassbender’s Lynch is completely unlikeable and Marion Cotillard’s Templar scientist is a confusing mess of half-attempted emotions.

Worst of all is the cinematography. The carefully choreographed parkour fight sequences might have been the film’s saving grace had they not been rendered unwatchable by the horribly jumpy camera-work and the constant, needless cuts back to the present day.

While there’s nothing wrong with an adaptation taking its own route, ‘Assassins Creed’ shows no respect for the source material, and outside the first few minutes every reference feels shallow and tokenistic. It fails as an adaptation, and as a standalone film.

 

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