Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Assassin's Creed Review
If you are one who has played the "Assassin's Creed" games, you'll be able to follow along pretty well as the movie does a decent job of sticking true to the lore when it comes to the setup. If you are unfamiliar with the lore, there's a chance you are going to get really confused really quickly. This movie jumps through the lore pretty fast and throws a whole bunch of crap at your face, kind of expecting you to already be fully aware of what's happening. As if they targeted this movie at people who have already played the game and know exactly what's going on. Personally I'm in the middle with this. I have never played these games, but I had roommates who did, one in particular who played "Assassin's Creed" for many hours each day and it watching him play became annoyingly addicting. Most of the time I wanted to do something else, but I physically couldn't. The game just sucked me and I had no choice but to sit on the couch and watch. Strange. Because of that, even though I never played the game myself, I became familiar with the premise. At least enough to know that if done right, this could make for an great film. Thus making me more frustrated at the final result.
This reminded me of the movie "Project Almanac" where these group of teenagers discover time travel and out of all places and times to go to, they decide to go into the past only a few years back in order to attend an Imagine Dragons concert. For real? I mean, I love Imagine Dragons as much as the next dude. Especially since I went to one of their concerts back in 2011 BEFORE they were a household name. But that premise was straight-up laughable. If teenagers discovered time travel, that's not the first choice of past event that they would go to. Similar thing here. They had the history of the Earth at your fingertips. They could've chosen any premise that they wanted and dove into any time period they wanted. They also had a whole host of "Assassin's Creed" games that have done a whole heck of a lot of cool things that they could've chosen from. Yet they decide to go to the Spanish Inquisition in order to locate the Apple of Eden? And they are going to essentially use violence and murder in order to prevent violence and murder? Please, tell me how that makes sense. Granted it's a step above an Imagine Dragons concert. You can do some cool things with the Spanish Inquisition. But they completely missed the boat here.
Yet that's not even half of the problem with this movie. In theory, if you have a video game movie, you can get away with a sub-par story as long as you have a lot of good action and great acting. In some cases, you can even focus only on the action and get a pass based on being a fun popcorn flick. I obviously care about acting and storytelling, but this is a situation where I could've been entertained with a lot of fun "Assassin's Creed" style of action and given this movie a grade of 7 or something like that despite this bad premise. But if I'm being honest, I was not entertained one bit by this movie. First and foremost, if you are doing "Assassin's Creed," you do need to jump back and forth between past and present at least a little bit. But I would prefer a 90/10 ratio. 90 percent of the movie spent in the past with 10 percent spent in the present. This movie practically flips that ratio. I didn't keep track of specific time, but I would wager a guess that 90 percent of the movie is spent in the present with only 10 percent of the time spent in the past. We went into the past three different times for like 5-10 minutes each. And none of the stuff in the present was even interesting at all.
The acting in this movie is fine. Michael Fassbender and Marion Collitard do the best with what they are given. Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling and Michael K. Williams highlight our list of supporting actors that are also fine. It does give off the vibe that the cast and crew were doing their best to make this a good movie. It's just that the narrative decisions with the story are so bad that no one had much to work with. I didn't care one bit about the story that was happening in the past. I cared even less about the story that was happening in the present, which was where we spent most of the movie. Speaking of which, they should've flip-flopped the time spent in the present and the past. And the action was so jarring that I couldn't even give that a pass. If you never played "Assassin's Creed," you're going to be confused and bored with what this movie presents. If you played "Assassin's Creed," you are going to be disappointed with the missed potential. With "Warcraft" and now "Assassin's Creed," I think it's about time to let video games be video games and stop trying to make them work as movies. I'm giving "Assassin's Creed" a 4/10.