Review: Assassin’s Creed (2016 movie)

After witnessing the murder of his mother, Callum Lynch has lived a life of shadows. Thirty years later he’s saved from his execution by the Abstergo Foundation who claims he’s a descendant of the ancient Assassins. Callum must learn the past of his ancestors to save the future of not just himself but everyone with free will…

assassinscreed

Losing his mother as a child would have been bad enough but Callum was there to witness it and recognize the murderer: his own father. His father told him to run and Callum veered into the path of crime until a murder landed him in prison with a death sentence.

But the execution doesn’t kill him. Instead, he wakes up in an odd facility where Dr. Sophia Rikkin tells him he’s been chosen to participate in their Animus Project. Callum, she claims, is a direct descendant of Aguilar de Nerha — a member of the Assassin’s Brotherhood and the final known guardian of the Apple of Eden. The Apple is said to have been created by an ancient civilization and that within it lies the genetic code of free will.

The Animus machine allows Callum to re-live the life of Aguilar in 15th century Spain. Sophia wants to use Callum’s memories to find the Apple and rid the world of violence using its secrets, but bigger things are at play behind the scenes. As Callum learns more of Aguilar and the other people in the facility, he must choose where his loyalties lie before it’s too late to change the future of the world.

I didn’t have very high expectations for this movie. Movies based on video games are a notoriously bad idea but the trailer was good and I enjoyed the game, so I gave it a chance. It didn’t surprise me pleasantly in any way.

The movie had weird character motivations and none of them felt very unique. Many of them also changed their attitude and motivation seemingly on a whim, which made it confusing to keep up at times.

The pace of the plot went all the way from too slow to too fast. It was almost as if at the start of the movie they thought “we have plenty of time, let’s take it slow!” and later on realized they had half an hour left to wrap everything up.

I was also disappointed with the lack of screen time for Aguilar. The movie spends too much time in the modern world, trying to set up the backstory and drive the plot forward, and so the whole Assassin-part of Assassin’s Creed felt distant.

Visually the movie was beautiful and I liked how the Animus had been redesigned to work better on the screen. There was action and some cool moves.

If you’re looking for something action-y just to pass time and/or happen to be a fan of Assassin Creed, you could give this movie a go. Otherwise you might want to consider watching something else.

∗2,5/5∗

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