Assassin's Creed is a trainwreck that commits the cardinal sin of being boring on top of making no sense.
Title: Assassin's Creed
Director: Justin Kurzel
Summary: When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.
There are a lot of reasons that movies based on video games fail but Assassin's Creed seems to fall to the thing that seems to cripple them all; the fundamental difference between interactive and in-active media. The reason that the past sequences in the games work is because you're the one making the character do all the running, jumping and stabbing. You're tense because you don't know if you're going to grab onto that ledge or not and it works. The movie has plenty of running, jumping and stabbing but the audience is just watching it happen. The tension in every scene is dropped and the thing that marketing has focused on becomes pointless. The trailers, posters and everything else have been selling the past scenes of Assassin's Creed like they are the entire movie when there are only three scenes total and one of them is already on Youtube.
This is the fundamental flaw in the story behind Assassin's Creed; the past scenes have no weight. They are basically a flashback and nothing more where we aren't worried about the main character dying because we aren't attached to him in any way. We know he can't die because he needs to have a kid at some point or our main character Callum (Michael Fassbender) wouldn't exist. The cashes, the stabbing, the point of it all is rendered moot. The tension is supposed to come from something making the present day scenes tense but there isn't any. They don't develop anyone as the screenwriters felt that worldbuilding instead of creating characters was far more important. However, all of these fight scenes and the world is meaningless if we don't care about their fates. The audience could know every detail of the world of Assassin's Creed but none of it is going to matter if we don't care whether Callum or anyone else lives or dies.
Because they seemed to have spent a large portion of the film world building it is almost tragic that the movie makes no sense. They don't try to explain what is going on and the thing that the bad guys are looking for is something that they don't really explain. There are some conclusions you might be able to draw if you know anything about the lore of the games, but if someone doesn't know anything about it they are going to be lost. Assassin's Creed commits the cardinal sin of the action movie and is just plain boring. It's under two hours long but it's so poorly paced it feels so much longer. This could all be forgiven if there was a hint of satire or a sense of self awareness but Assassin's Creed is under the illusion that it's a good movie and takes everything so seriously.
Assassin's Creed was supposed to be the game changer. This is the one that had the studio that created the games working on it from day one. This was supposed to be the one that changed it all, that shows the world that video games can be adapted into movies, and it's almost sad to see if fails so badly. There is a good video game adaptation out there but, for now, it's bad to the drawing board.