Friday, 2 June 2017

Assassin's Creed: The Movie


Out now on blu-ray, DVD, and various paid streaming services is Assassin’s Creed. Now, before we start, let me ask you a question, what do the following films have in common: Super Mario Bros, Double Dragon, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, Doom, Bloodrayne, Postal? Yes ma’am you are correct, they all have one thing in common, they are all, bar none, almost physically painful pieces of shite.  A collection of films, particularly the Uwe Boll ones, seemingly designed in a way, not to entertain but to specifically enrage and annoy fans of the source material.


Starring the genius/bumbling moron that is Michael Fassbender and the usually fantastic Marion Cotillard, Assassin’s Creed is a reimagining of famed historical drama video game series by the same name. It has been a long time coming, and to many it looked as if this may have been the game to break the curse of the terrible movie tie-in.  There have been a few near hits such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, the perfectly on point Advent Children and the so bad it’s good joy that came from Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. However, as I’m sure you are aware there has been more good to seep out’ve an infected wound than out’ve the boardroom meetings that talk about video game adaptation. 

Assassin’s Creed, based in the same world as the games but an independent story, is about a prisoner with an interesting past, much more interesting than the story we get incidentally. A man, Callum (Fassbender), who has been all but kidnapped by Marion Cotillard inexplicably. It does seem that she does so in an attempt to  pretend she is consistently winning a Michael Fassbender toy from a Claw Grabber Machine game, with which she has combined with her love of History to form a plan, and weak plot. The motivation behind this is she is absolutely dedicated to unlocking the power of the Apple of Eden with the same chaotic and selfish vigour normally associated with fans of the Apple of iPhone. (Nah, only kidding you’re ok)

I have an incredibly wobbly tooth at the moment and I can say without hyperbole, that I was so bored watching this movie that I decided to rip the tooth out of my face with a pair of nearby pliers. Even oscillating between blinding agony and adrenalin driven euphoria couldn’t elicit any emotion from me regarding this film, and instead I just let the blood roll down my face and went to bed depressed that I still had to write this review, causing me a long term throbbing pain of the psyche that all but rivalled the fresh wound I had caused by accidentally grabbing a chunk of my lower mouth with the pliers. 

I have suffered through this film twice, or should I say that the dialogue was so boring that I fell at the first hurdle, which was the silently, tediously scrolling text.  It’s as if Star Wars started with someone just showing you the opening scrawl written down on a beer mat while lecturing you about 1970s plumbing techniques.  The film isn’t interesting, if anything it’s confusing, I never quite understood the motivation behind any decision being made, and it seemed that the film was designed as a way to show off that someone actually let them make a movie.  

The early games are commonly known as being about a beautiful or fascinating period of history inside the framing device of some stupid sci-fi present day wankery that is basically like trying to get away with the infamous trope of ‘it’s all just a dream’ by telling you at the start.  They are good, most of them, I would almost say all of them if it wasn’t for the third one and incidentally everyone’s most favourite bit wasn’t the bit where you fucked about and literally worked in an office.  So inspired by the fascinating premise of the games, we all wondered with anticipation if we were going to see a brutal film version of Black Flag, or even better, the live action version of the roguish hero that was Ezio Auditore. Instead we got a film that was trying so hard not to be the matrix that it ended up being boring, tedious and as gratifying as if they had dropped Jar Jar Binks into the middle of '13 Reasons Why'.


On the plus side the film is stylish, beautiful even. The feel of the parts in the past perfectly reflect the visual design of the games and really reminded me of a time when I was enjoying myself. Unfortunately, there is nothing good to be said about the film apart from the way it looks, and you can get most of that from the trailer on youtube, so if I were you, and I respect the fact that I am not, I would suggest getting yourself a copy of Leon: The Professional or watching Game of Thrones instead. Otherwise you might find out what it feels like to grab a part of your body and tear it off  as someone urinates all over another of your inevitably broken dreams. 

★★☆☆☆

David Roberts
Assasin's Creed at CeX




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