Assassin’s Creed (2016) – Review

3 Stars

Assassin’s Creed is a movie that I had very low expectations of and I’m pleasantly surprised to report back that the film is a highly enjoyable fantasy adventure with some fine acting to boot. Michael Fassbender reunites with his Macbeth director Justin Kurzel, and co-star, Marion Cotillard. The level of acting, production design, and direction are handled with the same delicate care that went into Kurzel’s restaging of Shakespear’s classic tragedy. Of course, the story in Assassin’s Creed can’t match up to the Bard’s great works, and in truth, the narrative short-hands interesting side characters, and races through backstories. But the visual imagery is so beguiling and the acting so spot on that the material is eminently watchable and occasionally stunning.

Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) has been slated for execution by the State. At the moment of death, he is saved by an enigmatic woman (Marion Cotillard) who offers Cal a second chance at freedom if he performs in her ongoing experiment. The secretive mission is to transport the convict back into 1400’s Spain and connect him to his ancestors, who were part of a rebellious sect know as the ‘Assassins’. A centuries-long war has been raging between the Templar Knights and the Assassins. Both are in search of the apple of Eve, a holy relic that can tame man’s free-will.

As far as possible franchise starters go; Assassin’s Creed actually made me want to see a follow-up story about the ongoing feud between the warring factions of ideologies. It’s probably a backhanded compliment to call Assassin’s Creed the best video-game to film adaptation. While this film has the commercial ambitions of Tomb Raider, it also has the filmmaking grace and oddities of Silent Hill. Assassin’s Creed won’t stand up to any serious analyzation for a second because the whole beautiful facade beings to crumble, but while it’s playing out the entire affair is a glorious looking, rousing adventure film.

Director: Justin Kurzel
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons

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