Director: Justin Kurzel
One of the most difficult tasks for any filmmaker is to make a movie based on a game and make it look good as gamers are the biggest critic of such attempts. We have seen in the past where movies based on games were made in which some were successful and some even achieved box office crowns but mostly just bombed. The primary reason for such debacle is that filmmakers either try to make it look like too gaming like or too movie like whereas the gamers like a mix of both.
Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Warcraft, Tomb Raider, Need for Speed are some of the examples of good and bad movie making. Tomb Raider and Resident Evil even saw some successful sequels too but deciding on when to stop is the key for keeping the relevant audience engaged.
Assassin’s Creed is a cult classic by UBI Soft and ever since it came out nearly a decade ago, it became a fan favorite. The game had a new story which was blend of medieval and modern era. It challenged scientific minds and gave an interesting theory about tracing ancestors. Now having to make a movie out of this classic game is something not anyone would attempt unless it was backed by the game studio itself and it was the case with the first installment of Assassin’s Creed.
Based on the same origins story of Assassin’s Creed, we see Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) being executed in the prison and then revived by a company (backed by a secret society of Templars) which is looking for an ancient artifact called “The Apple”, which holds the secret of human’s free will. Not much time is wasted in showing how Callum ended up in the prison as he’s suffering from childhood PTSD where he’s seen his father kill his mother. Although the motive was not immediately known but he sees some vehicles pulling over and his father asks him to run away.
Once revived after his lethal injection, Sofia (Marion Cotillard) comes to Callum and explains that she’s running experiments of similar individuals whose DNA matches their ancestors, who were Assassins. The company she works for is run by her father and they have the capability to take one into the past of their ancestors. The current individuals cannot change the past but the overwhelming synchronization of DNA could lead to one’s death or permanent disability. Callum agrees to help as he’s given the hope that he can lead a normal new life after Sofia gets what she’s looking for. There are more people like Callum in the vicinity but how they are revealed is for you to be seen.
The best part of the movie is how accurately the gaming experience of Assassin’s Creed is captured in the movie where one truly is immersed into the exponential buildup of the story line and mesmerizing cinematics. Of course there is a heavy use of CGI but for your knowledge, 80% of the action stunts are non-CGI and are performed by Michael Fassbender himself. The Spanish era where dialogues are also in Spanish add color and authenticity to the movie and had they been in English then I might have lost interest. The small details like the constant flying of an Eagle, the Leap of Faith and climbing towers and building have been captured to utmost details.
The movie is very well made and will lead to multiple sequels but if you talk about how it looks now then I’d say that it was a treat to watch it. The sets, action choreography, cinematics, CGI realness and costume designs were exceptionally well made. Another trivia for your knowledge that all Assassin’s dresses were hand stitched and it took over a month for a single dress to be made, there were nearly 10 of them.
Michael Fassbender has already made a name for himself as an action star through X-Men franchise but in this movie he is on a whole new level of action. He worked tirelessly to learn about the original game’s story, worked his butt off while preparing for the role and put the realism into the character of how it was demanded of him. All other characters played their roles as required but there was another name which is worth mentioning here and that is of Ariane Labed. She plays an Assassin named Maria who is right beside Aguilar (Callum’s ancestor). She and Callum did 80% of their own stunts and once you watch the movie you’d know how amazing they were in it.
Overall, I loved it and am now waiting for a sequel and if you’re not a gamer and have not played this game then I recommend that you go to Youtube and watch game videos first before watching the movie because that is only when you will know what this movie was all about. Although the story can stand on its own without the game but if you know the game then it becomes much more enjoyable.