Tuesday 20 December 2016

Assassin's Creed ... Kill off this film

ASSASSIN'S Creed is one jumbled-up mess of non-stop violent action interspersed with highfalutin
ideas about free will and eliminating violence in society.
   I wasn't surprised when I heard the guy sitting next to me snoring lightly midway through the film, and I wasn't even upset with the two people a few rows in front of me fiddling with their smarthphones. I supposed they had to do something to escape the drab playing in front of them.

    Australian Justin Kurzel, who directed Michael Fassbender in Hamlet (2015) and again in this film based on the popular video game, does a competent job with the violent action scenes, but even they get monotonous after awhile.
   I found myself becoming restless when Fassbender's chiselled and sinewy Aguilar alter ego beats the crap out out of everyone. Fassbender, by the way, produced this film.
   I enjoyed watching Fassbender in Inglourious Basterds and Shame, but his natural charm doesn't shine through in this film.
   He's morose and his character is an extreme choleric, which means he's overflowing with anger. This character doesn't play to his strengths as he's on a one-track mind to accomplish a goal and use his newfound skills to eliminate anyone in his way. His favourite tool is a blade the snaps out of a
Marion Cotillard leaves Michael Fassbender high and dry.
 This image suggests a Christ-like Fassbender.
contraption attached to his forearm.
  Fassbender plays a Cal Lynch, a murderer sentenced to die in the US but wakes up in a facility in Spain that is part prison and part lab.
   The centre is run by Dr Rikkin (Jeremy Irons, sleepwalking through this role), but it's his determined lovely daughter Dr Sofia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard, whom I hope does a better job in Allied than in this film) who runs the show.
   The film uses the video game's artifice pretty much to a T. Lynch is hijacked by the Rikkins and is strapped to a crane-like machine called Animus, which translates the genetic memories of his 15th-century Spanish ancestor into a simulated reality.
    Viewers will go along with Lynch's ride in unbridled euphoria for the first time, but the trick loses its potency after that. It doesn't help that the film cuts between 1492 Spain and 2016 Spain, which dilutes the action scenes' efficacy.
  The Rikkins want Lynch to absorb the memories and skills of his ancestor, Aguilar, and find the Apple of Eden, which promises to eradicate violence in society. Aguilar is a member of an order of assassins that like to regurgitate the Assassin's Creed.
   The Assassins believe in peace through free will and this sets them on an opposing path with the
Aguilar (Fassbender) is chained to his destiny.
Templars, who seek peace through control.
   The main reason to watch this film is its inherent violence and action. There are a lot of running and killing taking place, but like I said before, they get tedious after awhile.
    Fassbender and Cotillard are a disappointment, and the silly notions about peace and free will are submerged under the violence.
 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

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