© Twentieth Century Fox of Germany GmbH

Assassin's Creed
U.K./France/Hong Kong/U.S.A. 2016

Opening 29 Dec 2016

Directed by: Justin Kurzel
Writing credits: Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper
Principal actors: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling

After a difficult childhood, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) became a murderer and was executed for his crimes. However, instead of dying, he awakes to find himself in an odd facility where a scientist called Sofia (Marion Cottilard) claims they are working to eliminate aggression and violence from society. In order to accomplish this goal, they need to access the genetic memories of descendants from a secret society called the Assassins, a violent group whose aggressive behavior is the antithesis of what Sofia and her organization hope to create. Callum’s ancestor, Aguilar, an Assassin from 15th Century Spain, was the last to know the whereabouts of the “Apple of Eden,” an ancient device which is the key to unlocking a violence-free world. Using a revolutionary piece of technology called the Animus, Callum is thrown back through his genetic memories in the hopes of discovering its location. But, as he learns more about the Assassins and their history, it starts to become clear that Sofia and the organization she works for may not be who they seem.

Loosely based on a popular series of video games, Assassin’s Creed largely manages to succeed where many others of its genre (DOA: Dead or Alive [2006], Mortal Kombat [1995], Hitman [2007]) failed. It is a solid action-adventure film, with sci-fi elements and a strong cast which comes together in an enjoyable, if not entirely comprehensible, film. Where it struggles is with its overly intricate plot, which is true to the original premise of the multiple video games upon which it is based, but perhaps a little too complex for an 115-minute long film. It also has to be said that more attention could have been spent on the character of Callum. While Michael Fassbender manages to make the role compelling, there isn’t much in the script to endear one to the character. However, this is easy to overlook due to the film’s fast pace and the well-chosen cast who clearly enjoy the roles they are playing. For those who are fans of the franchise, there is plenty to enjoy here, even though it does not follow the plots of the games and is more influenced by the setting. If you are looking for a fun action film with a top cast and a unique storyline then Assassin’s Creed might just be the film you are looking for. (Rose Finlay)

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