Assassin’s Creed

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I got to a morning screening of the movie Assassin’s Creed not knowing anything about it. I figured it could be the latest Rocky film. Silly me. It’s another movie based on a video game [side note to Hollywood: has the video game to movie jump worked yet?]

Now, people gave Angelina Jolie crap for the horrible By the Sea, calling it a “vanity project.” Perhaps you can say the same thing about producer/star Michael Fassbender, who spent five years on this. And I’ll give him this. He assembled the best cast, in the worst movie, that I’ve seen in a decade. That cast includes Brendan Gleeson, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, and Michael Kenneth Williams.

Fassbender looks as if he’s going through the motions half the time, but I suppose that’s his acting for this character. He’s supposed to be confused some of the time. Certainly the audiences will be. It has a somewhat incomprehensible plot.

Fassbender is Callum Lynch, a man on death row, that likes to draw morbid pictures. After his lethal injection, he wakes up in a nice looking facility run by the Knights Templars. I think that’s the team Roy Hobbs played baseball for, but I digress.

The Templars want to track down the “apple of eden.” It will keep the human race from using free will and hurting each other.

Lynch is a direct descendent of assassin Aguilar de Nerha. He hid the apple over 500 years ago, and there’s a three billion dollar machine Sofia (Cotillard) helped create. They can plug into his neck to retrieve memories from people in his bloodline. That device is called an “Animus” and I always cracked up when they said that. It sounded like they were saying a hybrid word from “enema” and “anus.”

Jeremy Irons plays Rikkin, who is the big cheese behind the lab, and he goes on non-stop about how violence needs to be eradicated. Most of the time he looked like he could use an enema.

We’re given a brief history of what “assassins” were back in the day. In this, they’re protecting the “apple.” I was a bit confused as to who the bad guys were, but when a few of the fight scenes were fun and the set pieces cool, I didn’t mind. When things got dull and a bit repetitive, I started to mind.

A few times the fight scenes were a bit frenetic. Sometimes you want to be able to tell what is going on. And the Parkour seemed out of place in the 15th Century [it would be the second movie I saw today that featured Parkour; the other, Why Him?, used it better].

The movie also lacked any levity.

There was a 30 minute period where I comfortably had my feet up on the rail in front of me. When dialogue went to subtitles, I couldn’t see half the words because my foot was blocking my view. I was so comfortable, and so checked out of the movie, I didn’t bother to move. The film just wasn’t good enough to make that little bit of effort.

It was also close to two hours long.

1 ½ stars out of 5.