Only the Brotherhood Wants to See Assassin’s Creed

7 Jan

484-film-page-largeBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Video game buffs will be curious about Assassin’s Creed. When this movie is competing in a heavy holiday week which includes Rogue One and Sing, a single film will stand out and the winner is sadly obvious. This product succeeds at a reasonably enjoyable techno-fantasy romp that blends ideas from the Tomb Raider 2 (ala Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull route) with DaVinci Code.

However, this film is an introductory one, and it needs more substance (lore) to make it more filling. I do not know the games very well, so I was going into this movie slightly blind. The archaeology hints at a master race (the Nephilim?) who predated the creation of the Garden of Eden (from whence the apple came from) in order to create the Tree of Good and Evil to which Adam and Eve plucked from which gave them free will. I’m being deliberately misleading so not to spoil the real mythos.

Fassbender is a fan of the games to be both producing and acting in it. He comes through as a tougher version of Oliver Queen from CW’s Arrow, and the comparison is there. The League of Assassins and Brotherhood of Assassins can very well be one in the same in their respective universes! I geeked out at seeing Lynch fight with a bow, and can only wish upon a star for a comic book crossover of these two worlds. While Lynch took a while to embrace his past to become what he is, Oliver is fighting with all his will to not fall upon his killer past. Queen does not want to be in that darkness again.

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The movie does have its share of problems. It felt short. Some exposition was removed for to create a lean film. It did not help as assumptions had to be made about relationships between some of the characters. Other leaps of faith included how the Brotherhood restarted after what looked like a termination of a key group of Assassins. The pacing of the film started off good, but it got sluggish midway before getting exciting again. The last parts only set up more questions than provide solid answers, and while I was hoping for the scientist Sophia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) to be a reincarnation of Maria (Aguilar’s partner in the past), the story sets her up to be a threat in later films.

The idea of hooking Callum up to the definitive interface to experience VR (via neuro-interface) is a very cool concept, and I can only hope a sequel does get made, perhaps a decade or two later where the future is realized in a bleak cyberpunk fashion, where Abstergo Industries has taken over the world. Recalling the past is not required. As this film is meant to be an extension of, perhaps we can see Rikkin get an expanded role as a technomancer that Callum has to deal with.

3 Blades out of 5

 

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