By: Special Guest Reviewer Video Game Rack Fighter
I’m just going to say it. It’s unfair that I only get to review video game based films because nine times out of ten they suck so bad even Vinny Baggadouchio can’t cure them.
Ha. Inside humor.
Video Game Rack Fighter here with a review of Assassin’s Creed.
While we’re on the subject of films that suck, is it me or did this whole holiday season lineup kind of blow turds? Other than Rogue One and Passengers, Hollywood shit the bed this year.
Anyway, this video game based film didn’t suck as much as you might expect, though there was a certain amount of suckage. Maybe 60 non-suck and 40 suck if I’m feeling generous.
Why do video game movies usually suck? Because video games are usually written with a player in mind, not a viewer.
Case in point – in Assassin’s Creed, you, the player, are put into a machine that allows you, through advances in DNA science, to travel back in time in your mind and control the actions of your ancestor who shares the same DNA.
In other words, as a video game player, you might relate more to controlling a 15th century assassin than you would actually being a 15th century assassin. After all, what do you know about being a 15th century assassin? (Then again, what do you know about controlling one?)
It’s an idea that works well in the game, but not so much in the film. The story keeps switching between present day Cal (Michael Fassbender), a convict under the thumb of Sofia (Marion Cotillard) and Aguilar, Cal’s 15th century assassin ancestor (also played by Michael Fassbender).
Ultimately, there are two worlds and two plots, neither of which were fully explored within the movie’s timeframe. In fact, I dare say they spent too much time on the present day stuff and not enough time on the past stuff, where the best action in the game occurs. (The present day controlling your ancestor bit is basically just something that moves the game along).
The effects are great, the ancient fight scenes are awesome, but as video games so often do, it left me feeling “meh.”
If they ever do a sequel, and sadly given the ending it looks like they will, they’d be well-informed to know that the ancient assassin being controlled is the main attraction and the person doing the controlling is just a side show. I came for Michael Fassbender in a murdering people in a cloak. I got a little bit of that and a lot of Michael Fassbender being moody and grunting angrily, as he does in most of his films.
Funny, when this game came out years ago, I was excited for it as it promised to be Splinter Cell in ancient times. If you’ve never played Splinter Cell, you play as a secret agent who doesn’t win by shooting but by stealth. You have to sneak into a building, crawl around on the ceiling, through vents, up elevator shafts and subdue enemies without any one knowing.
Alas, the original Assassin’s Creed, wasn’t that well-developed. Missions called for you to be sneaky but the program was a little too sensitive as you’d inevitably be discovered and have to go on a stabbing spree just to get away.
The games did get better over the years, with games taking place on pirate ships and during the American Revolutionary War.
STATUS: Moderately shelf-worthy. Not worth seeing in the theater. Worth a rental.