Thursday, January 5, 2017

Movie Review #544: "Assassin's Creed" (2016)

Director: Justin Kurzel
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
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Convicted and supposedly executed killer Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is taken by the Abstergo company for a special mission to find the lost Apple of Eden, which holds the genetic code for free will. To find it, Cal must be hooked up to a machine known as the Animus and re-live the memories of his ancestor, who was the last known possessor of the Apple.

Are we really going to be stuck in a world where the best video game-to-movie adaptation is "The Angry Birds Movie?" It sure looks that way...

"Assassin's Creed" is directed by Justin Kurzel and is based on a video game series of the same name. It stars Academy Award nominee Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, a convicted killer who was supposedly sentenced to death. Joining him are Oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons, who play Sofia and her father Rikkin, who run the Abstergo company. They have a machine called the Animus that allows people to live the memories of their ancestors. The one they are interested in in particular is Callum's ancestor Aguilar, a member of a group called Assassins, who fought against the Knights Templar during the Spanish Inquisition. He is the last known possessor of the Apple of Eden, which is said to hold the genetic code for free will, an item Rikkin and his partners want to obtain so they can end the disease of violence. To obtain this item, they are willing to kill anyone to to get it, which makes total sense, right?

We had mediocre high hopes for "Assassin's Creed." It stars Oscar nominated and winning actors, the trailers looked visually cool, and the source seemed to be very adaptable. Wouldn't you know it, they still managed to screw it up. You have to hand it to Justin Kurzel. He somehow managed to make a movie about assassins that is full of stunts and action feel miserably dull. How did he manage it, you ask? It probably has something to do with a total lack of character development. We don't care about the heroes or villains in the slightest. We don't give a damn about their quest, and the ultimate stakes sure as hell don't seem that important. No real relationships or bonds are formed, either. Those behind the scenes slapped together a bunch of muddled plot points in the hopes that the audience will root for the Assassins by default because they are supposed to be the heroes. Don't just tell us they are the heroes, show us they are the heroes! The narrative is absurdly disjointed. Because of the way the story is told, what actually happens on screen doesn't make much sense. We left the theater knowing about as much as we did before the movie started.

The action sequences are also terribly put together. With about 20 jump cuts in every 10 seconds of action, it makes it impossible to absorb what is really going on and fully experience the impact of the battles taking place on screen. It also doesn't help that a graphically violent video game with an M-rating has been slashed down to a PG-13 rated film that cuts away from every kill to sanitize the entire thing for a wider audience. When are movie makers and studio heads going to learn that the rating scale doesn't matter to most people going to see a film like this? "Assassin's Creed" could have easily been better and even more exciting with more violence, not that we condone such a thing in real life, but for a video game movie to be rated PG-13 somehow seems disingenuous and downright wrong.

"Assassin's Creed" is a movie with massive amounts of wasted potential that, once again, dash the hopes that one day a good video game adaptation will ever be made. It's a shame Michael Fassbender put all of his eggs in this wretched basket and produced this film, too, because it's a double whammy of awful for him.


My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 17%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

3 comments:

  1. Just go read a book.the movie was good and not near as bad as you make it out.get over yourself your not that interesting.your about as boring as my English teacher..

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    Replies
    1. You're vs your. If only you'd listened to your English teacher..

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    2. Hello, dijin456! We are sorry you didn't like our movie review, but if you've ever read our website before, you'll know we are in the habit of telling the truth about movies, good or bad. We did not enjoy "Assassin's Creed" at all, and we were sort of looking forward to it. If you think we're boring, we can't help you there, but luckily, there are plenty of other reviewers out there that most likely agree with your opinion of this film. Have a good weekend!

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