ByElise Jost, writer at
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Elise Jost

For a while, Assassin's Creed had our hopes up that it would forgo the infamous video game movie curse and deliver a decent blockbuster for the holidays. With the strong involvement of parent studio in the making of the movie, plus an excellent director and a great cast, the ingredients for an exciting time-traveling adventure were clearly there.

But as each trailer tried to force a "cool gangsta" vibe down our throats instead of selling a historical epic, audiences started doubting the potential of the movie, like a kid who slowly realizes that the flat, square Christmas package he's holding has little chance of being the puppy he asked for. Set for release on December 21, is tracking at $30 to $35 million in its opening week — not enough for a Fox movie heavy in visual effects that cost $125 million to make.

'Assassin's Creed' Is Just Not Very Good

Why isn't Assassin's Creed drawing in the crowds? The competition with other Christmas hits such as Rogue One or the risk that the movie will only appeal to the game's players could be factors, but it seems like the drastic reviews are mostly responsible for the little hype surrounding the release of the movie.

And for good reason. All in all, Assassin's Creed is just not a very good movie. It relies on a ridiculously complicated plot — a criminal who saw his dad kill his mom in a weird costume when he was a kid is sentenced to death but actually brought back to life by a private company who claims to be researching violence but is actually searching for a simulation of the past to find the seed of man's first disobedience that will allow it to crush man's free will — and it cares little to explain, as 's character so eloquently puts it, "what the fuck is going on."

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Even if we ignore the perplexing requirement that Fassbender's Callum Lynch be shaken around by a giant mechanical arm like he's a malfunctioning snow globe, why does he need to wear actual blades on his arms to relive the memories of his ancestor? The same award for Lack of a Credible Explanation goes to the other Assassins watching the time go by in Abstergo's creepy facility; why not sit down poor Lynch and lay it out for him before trying to kill him because he might ruin their plan?

I can hear the avid Assassin's Creed gamers opening their mouths already, but to those who claim the fans will get it, I say the fans alone will not help the movie compensate for its budget.

The 'Assassin's Creed' Movie Just Feels Too Much Like A Video Game

'Assassin's Creed' [Credit: Ubisoft]
'Assassin's Creed' [Credit: Ubisoft]

More than the plot holes that could potentially be ignored if the overall story had enough potential, the main problem with Assassin's Creed is that it feels too much like a video game. The action scenes are fantastic, a mix of parkour and good ol' visceral fighting like only the Middle Ages can really do. They do, in a way, make you want to grab the controls and steer the chases your way.

But as these scenes pile up, the viewer is forced to realize that there's not much dialogue to bridge the gaps in between. A glassy-eyed delivers vague explanations that we've already forgotten, so that when her first alibi turns out to be a lie, we don't really care. The ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha, rarely speaks and only in Spanish — though he's played by Fassbender, showing that the movie paid little importance to those lines exchanged in the past. All in all, the dialogue feels like the textual interludes in a video game with a wobbly story, each sentence dragging on like those game parts that we hate because we can't skip them.

'Assassin's Creed' [Credit: Ubisoft]
'Assassin's Creed' [Credit: Ubisoft]

It's even more disappointing when the complex story of Assassin's Creed had plenty of potential to be turned into a compelling movie. But instead of taking a leap of faith and actually building a story that could stand on its own two feet, it feels like Ubisoft just brought us a bigger, less interactive version of its endless series of games.

Will you go watch Assassin's Creed? Have you ever played any of the games?

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)


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