With the poor history of video game to film adaptations I was rather surprised to see Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard sign on for ‘Assassin’s Creed’. No doubt after working together alongside director Justin Kurzel on 2015’s ‘Macbeth’ their positive experience must have had some pulling power in reuniting them here. With such impressive names attached to this project could ‘Assassin’s Creed’ be the first decent video game movie?
Whilst in no way a gamer myself I always thought that the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ games looked awesome, the trailers for each new edition of the game consistently caught my attention and I always anticipated the inevitable film adaptation. Watching the film unfold if I hadn’t of known this was based on a game I think I could have worked it out with many scenes playing out like what I imagine a level of game play would be like. There is a lot going on in the film and the rules of the universe are hard to grasp for a non-gamer, certain elements are simply never explained which will frustrate some audience members for sure. I think because of this at times the film, despite it’s violent & exciting premise, can be slightly dull however somehow it also manages to be simultaneously immersive in it’s video game world. The action sequences are often very reminiscent of the game play footage I’ve seen and whilst some of the assassin stunts are a little jarring on the whole these sequences entertain.
The performances from the cast are good, Fassbender and Cotillard are really the only ones who get much to do. Fassbender gives a dual performance here and he’s believable in both roles, he’s an effortlessly watchable lead and a solid focal point for the movie. Cotillard is very cold in her role as scientist Sophia Rikkin here, she pulls this off well however as a result some of the interchanges between the lead characters can seem a little forced, a fault of the writing more than performances I would think though. Jeremy Irons & Brendan Gleeson are neglected to the point that any actor could have played their roles, both of their characters were in desperate need of more screen time and development. The other notable name was Charlotte Rampling who has a minor role, whilst she is present even less than Irons & Gleeson she makes much more of an impact thanks to her menacing presence. Alongside the uneven allocation of screen time for the cast comes an odd structure to the film. With no natural build or progression in the narrative, the film almost just arrives at it’s finale and then ends. Thankfully though, to get audiences to this stage a wonderful score is used, composed by the directors brother, Jed Kurzel, it injects a lot of pace and energy into the film where it needs it most.
Overall there are certainly issues with ‘Assassin’s Creed’, it doesn’t quite make itself fully accessible to all audiences, has some weak characters and no real structure but it still manages to be the best video game to film adaptation I’ve seen. Left in the capable hands of two very watchable leads and with enjoyable action complemented by an energetic score the film doesn’t squander all of it’s potential and with the narrative left open for future adventures this is one franchise I wouldn’t mind seeing develop.
Rating – 7/10
Question: Which video game would you like to see receive a film adaptation?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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