by Alan Yudman
I think I liked ASSASSIN’S CREED. I know i was captivated by it. I could not stop watching it. But then again I cannot stop watching police chases or internet cat and dog videos. So it is a low bar for what I will watch.
The movie is directed by Justin Kurzel from a script by three screenwriters. ASSASSIN’S CREED is based on the wildly popular video game created by Ubisoft. It features Michael Fassbender in a dual role. Or is it one role. You’ll have to decide for yourself. In the past he is Aguilar, a member of the shadowy brotherhood of Assassins who are trying to prevent the Templars from possessing Eden’s Apple. Yeah, as in Garden of Eden. The apple is believed to be the key to eliminating free will. In the past that seems like just a way of controlling people. Isn’t he present it is seen as the root of man’s violent nature. In the present he is Callum Lynch, a man on death row. But his past is littered with run-ins with the Assassins. There’s a reason for that, but this will be a spoiler free review.
Lynch is sent to the execution chamber and injected with the chemical cocktail that will kill him. So he’s dead. Or is he? Guess not, because he wakes up in some facility in Spain run by the father-daughter team of Jeremy Irons and Marion Cotillard. They work for the modern Templars and have been using a device known as the Animas to mine the pasts of people they suspect have ties to the Apple. Lynch is their best lead because his DNA links him directly to Aguilar.
When Lynch is sent back in time, the flashbacks are some of the best sequences in he movie. They are crazy and wonderful. Great battle scenes as Aguilar/Lynch fight the Templars to rescue a child and keep the Apple away from Torquemada and his followers. The effects are great as Lynch relives this, the scenes cut back and forth and mix the past and present. Cotillard and Irons want Lynch to find the present day location of the Apple. But, other “guests” at their facility are descended from Assassins and want to stop it. Lynch believes the Assassins to be evil and is willing to work with Cotillard. Until he isn’t.
Ok, I’m done rehashing the convoluted and sometimes confounding plot. There a few problems. Why does Lynch suddenly decide to side with the Assassins? I mean I can guess, but it is not clear. I waited the entire movie for his transformation and it comes with a “hmm ok, that was it?”. Then I wanted more of Lynch as the Assassin. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next film. The climactic scene should be Lynch and his fellow Assassins capturing the Apple. I expected some big battle. Another disappointment.
The fight scenes and Fassbender’s acting save this from being completely terrible. Like I said, I wanted to like it. I was riveted by it. But I’m not sure it was any good.
Sent from my iPad