Movie Review: Assassin’s Creed Is Aesthetically Tasteful but Otherwise Bland

Assassin’s Creed hit theaters today. I accompanied a friend to the film Tuesday night. Assassin’s Creed was like grandma’s Christmas cookies: they’re appetizing to start with but bland after a while.

The Assassin’s Creed film features the popular Assassin’s universe with an original storyline. Michael Fassbender told ComingSoon “We really want to respect the games… One that I’ve learned is that audiences want to be surprised and see new elements of what they already knew.”  

The film introduces Callum “Cal” Lynch (Michael Fassbender), a career criminal sentenced to death. He is unknowingly rescued by none other than Abstergo Industries; for those who haven’t played the video game they’re a modern-day Templar order, people whom the Assassins fought ages ago. In the Animus, he becomes his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha, an Assassin who aims to keep the “Apple of Eden,” in safe hands.

Fassbender is known to play Magneto in the X-Men universe, a role that seems difficult to step out of. In several scenes in Assassin’s Creed, Fassbender acted like another version of Magneto. “Holy hell, Magneto,” my mind shouted during certain scenes.  

Scientist Sophia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) fills Cal in on where he is and why they need him. A machine called the Animus. Gamers are familiar with the device, it enables the user to relive the memories of their ancestors. They want to use Cal/Aguilar to grab the “Apple Of Eden,” an apple that enables consumers to be manipulated once eaten.

The best pieces of the film were in the Animus; breathtaking cliff diving, parkour filled scenes made me feel as though I were in a video-game, clutching a playstation controller like I didn’t have a save option. It was a thrill while Fassbender dived from rooftops and ran on clothes lines, jumped back and forth on walls and tossed knives through skulls.

The scenes outside of the Animus, however, were bland. Reminiscent of an under seasoned chicken, the acting was dull. You expect to hear “LINE!” as Fassbender and Cotillard blankly stare at one another in several shots.

Another red light is the lack of diversity. Casting features a black male and an asian woman. Everyone else is a white male, besides Cotillard who is a white female. Assassin’s Creed continues Hollywood’s rhythm of whiteness. Because this is the era of the Spanish inquisition, though, it’s not a surprise to see Eurocentric actors/actresses.

Catch Assassin’s Creed showing in theaters now.

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