Director: Justin Kurzel
Talent: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson
Released: 1st January
Sitting and watching your weird mate play video games is a rite of passage of many a misspent adolescence. Now, Justin Kurzel has brought that experience to the silver screen, with Assassin’s Creed, achieving results that underwhelm even given such necessarily low expectations.
In it, Cal (Fassbender) is rescued from death row by the mysterious Abstergo Industries to serve in an ancient conflict between Templars (Catholic autocrats) and Assassins (grimdark outlaws preserving a strict ethical code), with the aim of finding the Apple of Eden, believed to hold the secrets of human free will. His actions, with the aid of a sort of virtual reality machine called the Animus, take place in what are ostensibly the (note: hideously dust-filled) memories of a 16th century Assassin, Aguilar.
The plotting is oddly-paced and episodic, in a way unsurprisingly more reminiscent of the video game from which it takes its name than a traditional action film. Indeed, Assassin’s Creed seems to have been cobbled together primarily from half-remembered details of what 14-year-old boys think is cool. Those boys, and their weird mates, will be satisfied, if nothing else.
Words – Oisín Murphy-Hall