Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nobody Expects The Spanish Inquisition, or I Watched Assassin's Creed, So You Don’t Have To

You should know by now that I’m no gamer, but that doesn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying the Resident Evil franchise or Silent Hill (2006).  That being said, I’m always worried that I’m missing nuances in movies based on video games, hidden jokes and insights that go over my head because I haven’t spent hours ctrl-arrow right clicking (I really don’t know what you guys do) characters across virtual landscapes, killing people and collecting gold coins.  And those misgivings were confirmed with Assassin's Creed (2016), an overly complicated, humorless movie involving genetic memory to justify the fight scenes set in 15th Century Spain and a ridiculously over-qualified cast that should, collectively, be ashamed of themselves.
Take The Da Vinci Code (2006), The Matrix (1999) and any parkour action movie, let’s pick District B13 (2004), and mash them up into a movie that is somehow less than the sum of its parts, and you’ll approach the Assassin’s Creed Movie Experience.  While the trailer may highlight the fight scenes it’s not exactly an action film, nor is it a steampunk metaphysical conspiracy thriller (the filmmakers really needed to choose a lane).

Michael Fassbinder, a quality actor that lends a certain gravitas to any role he inhabits, does his best as Callum Lynch, the death row ex-con descendant of Aguilar de Nerha, a 15th Century Spanish assassin who was fighting the Knights Templar and the Spanish Inquisition.  Callum has access to Aguilar’s memories via a brain implant and some fancy VR technology, which allows him to fight.  There’s a modern day conspiracy involving Jeremy Irons as Alan Rikkin, mysterious billionaire CEO and Marion Cotillard as his daughter Sofia.  I rarely watch a movie and think the game has got to be better than this, but hey, there’s a first time for everything.

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