I HAVE a bit of familiarity with the Assassin’s Creed video game series on which this film is based. While elements of the game are very much on display in the film, the movie is no where near as fun to watch as the games are to play.

This is disappointing on a number of levels.

The cast of the film is fantastic. Michael Fassbender stars alongside Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons and Brendan Gleeson. In theory this cast should be fantastic. While they all performed admirably in the film, the dialogue they had to work with and the story itself was a bit lacklustre.

The story follows Cal Lynch (Fassbender), a death row inmate given a second chance at life by a mysterious organization lead by a father/daughter scientist duo (Irons/Cotillard). They have discovered a way to tap into the genetic markers in Lynch’s DNA to allow him to relive the memories and life of his ancestor Aguilar, who happens to be an Assassin. The point of all this is to find the Apple of Eden in an attempt to “cure violence.”

Unfortunately, the story is full of incoherent plot points and incomprehensible story elements, along with mediocre dialogue.

To the film’s credit, there were a few thrilling action set pieces, including an incredible chase through 15th Century Spain. The fight choreography and stunt work was also great.

Visually, the film was a bit of a disaster. At times I was impressed by the visuals, but mostly I was frustrated at how muddy and obscured the picture was. The 3D was decent enough, but things just looked off.

I was amazed to read that the majority of the film was shot in-camera with very little CGI (at least according to the film’s trivia section on IMDB). I would have guessed that the film was mostly bad CGI had I not read that tidbit.

This makes it worse though, because it seems like what they may have actually filmed was ruined by over-development. Not to mention a non-stop layer of smoke and fog and lens flares and weird light aberrations in almost every scene.

I really wanted to like this movie. I love Fassbender’s work and think he’s a fantastic actor. He brings a sense of weight to his portrayal as a young Magneto in the X-Men films that, unfortunately, he doesn’t seem able to recapture here in Assassin’s Creed.

The film also continues the tradition of horrid movie versions of video games. Not recommended.

Ryan Mackett is an artist and film enthusiast who resides in Thunder Bay. Email questions or comments to him at

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