Ben Oliver

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Assassin’s Creed

The blood that flows through you is not your own. It belongs to the Creed.
24 June 2017

A man on death row is saved from his execution by a modern branch of the Knight’s Templar, who track him down on account of his being the last in the bloodline of ‘Assassins’. They believe they can use him to trace the location of ‘The Apple of Eden’ - the key to human free will - using his genetic memory. In order to do so he must relive the actions of his ancestors in a machine called the ‘Animus’.

Here’s another one to go down in the annals of dull video game adaptation history. There was potential; the cool concept and the top-drawer cast definitely made for a good trailer, but once you realise it’s about scrubbing through CCTV to find an apple, the sheen wears off.

This is probably heresy to fans of the game but the sci-fi element kills the story. It’s a good device on which to build a game franchise but for the film why do we need the ‘Animus’ element at all? Just set it in the past and show us the events as they happened.

Michael Fassbender, Jeremy Irons and Marion Cotillard aren’t the sort to phone in a performance but the latter in particular gets next to nothing to work with. Why bother getting these people in if you’re just going to edit them out again? Then to really twist the knife they introduce a bad-ass 15th century assassin sidekick lady who gets about 3 minutes of screen time.

Assassin’s Creed is an exercise in how to frustrate your audience. The whole thing ultimately turns out to be a setup to a sequel. You never really find out how the McGuffin works. The protagonist doesn’t actually do anything. The list goes on.

Far from a stinker, but best avoided.

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