Like a child anxiously waiting for Christmas morning, so have I been waiting…waiting to tell you about this winter’s biggest waste of a film: Assassin’s Creed. About 5 months ago, I was able to participate in an audience preview of the highly-anticipated Michael Fassbender flick, and I was legitimately excited as I waited in my seat. Familiar with the games and their ever-growing stories, I knew that this could possibly be the greatest videogame to film adaptation to date. With such an extensive library of characters, settings, and narratives, this really should have been a no-brainer for Hollywood writers to bring to mainstream filmgoers. Yet…what I ultimately saw was a messy pile of convoluted story, weak characters, and lazy acting from some of Hollywood’s most respected personalities. I have been sworn to secrecy and non-disclosure agreements until today…but allow me to open the floodgates.
Instead of adapting a popular story or character from the extremely successful line of videogames, Assassins Creed’s Director Justin Kurzel and writers Michael Lesslie and Adam Cooper decided to construct a unique character and storyline that is sure to piss off any fan of the series. Weak character development mixed with sloppy pacing and an even messier timeline make this film hardly worth watching. If you loved characters from the games like Ezio, Desmond, or Edward, then you are in for a shocking disappointment when you meet Michael Fassbender’s Callum Lynch, a “career criminal” who has the personality depth of a kiddy pool and a motivation that’s harder to pinpoint than Waldo. Add in more weak characters like Marion Cotillard’s Sofia or Batman V Superman’s Jeremy Irons as Rikkin, and you’ve got perhaps the most wasted acting cast in 2016. Seriously, these weak characters make Suicide Squad’s character development seem Shakespearean. Oh, and without spoiling the big twist (Again, I highly encourage you NOT to experience this movie), you’ll have the entire movie mapped out in your head by the end of the first Act. Then it becomes a waiting game of trying to see how long the characters take to figure out the twist we’ve seen coming for well over an hour. Oh, and you’ll be waiting for those signature “swan dives” from the classic games, but you’re going to be sorely disappointed. There are at most 3 instances of such swan dives, all of which are cut short or out of focus.
In the end, there is hardly anything to write home about when all is said and done. Everything you enjoy in this movie will either be cut short by terrible acting, or you’ll literally get “pulled out” of awesome action sequences along with Michael Fassbender’s Callum because he “isn’t ready” to continue. The whole movie is a convoluted, underdeveloped mess with a terrible backstory. You’ll find yourself more in love with the historical beauty of the Spanish Inquisition and the characters who live in it than the characters who are so keen on exploring it.
Assassin’s Creed is a slap in the face to all fans of the classic videogame series, and an even bigger slap in the face to anyone interested in seeing a great Holiday action flick. I encourage you to pick literally any other film (Rogue One, La La Land…the list is nearly endless) instead of this heaping garbage pile. I give this film a 4 out of 10.