12A – 115mins – 2016 – 3D
LEAP OF FASS
In an attempt to cure the ‘disease’ of violence, the Abstergo Foundation use Death Row inmates due to be executed for murder as pawns in their Animus Project, transporting the lab rats back into the memories of their descendants in the hope of locating the mythical lost Apple of Eden, which contains the genetic code for free will and will allow Abstergo scientists Sophie Rikken (Marion Cotillard) and her father Alan (Jeremy High-Rise Irons) to subjugate the human race. Anti-social pimp-killer Callum Lynch (Michael X-Men: Apocalypse Fassbender) – a descendant of 15th Century Assassin Aguilar de Nerha – has just been forced into Sophie’s programme…
After the brooding (and boring) Macbeth, director Justin Kurzel reteams with his leading man for this heavily anticipated big money blockbuster based on the uber-popular Ubisoft videogame franchise of the same name. With a merchandise line and spin-off novel series already being hungrily devoured by the console classic’s army of fans, 20th Century Fox must have thought a big screen adaptation with a stellar cast would be a licence to print money. Then the reviews started to trickle in…
To begin with a positive, Assassin’s Creed looks lavish. With swooping camera angles, glossy lenses and packed full of sci-fi future-tech, whether fighting for his life in the Spanish Inquisition, riding his bike in the eighties or having his world turned upside-down in Sophie’s science lab, Callum’s journey is an expansive one and it is clear that the producers spared no expense in bringing this time-hopping historical action-adventure to life.
But for a gaming novice such as myself with zero in-depth knowledge of the brand (besides the title and the main character’s penchant for diving off tall buildings), this was a dizzying, head-scratching two hours with mumbo-jumbo jargon piled atop nonsense science to leave me questioning who I was rooting for, why, and WHEN.
Add to this messy lack of clarity Kurzel’s frantically kinetic camera work during set-pieces where the pumped-up mega-fit characters are already bouncing off the walls and miscomprehension eventually gave way to frustration. Come the finale’s lecture hall showdown between Templar’s and the hooded Brotherhood I was ready to storm out of the cinema and base-jump my way home.
A woeful-if-flashy disappointment, Assassin’s Crud, sorry: Creed can most closely be compared to Avatar-meets-The Matrix by way of Aaron Eckhart-starring gothic flop I, Frankenstein.
CR@B’s Claw Score: