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Review Assassins Creed (2016): Asks you to take a leap of faith and then does not reward you for it.

genre: action, adventure, fantasy

Recently I caught the Assassins Creed bug again and started playing Assassins Creed: Syndicate. Then I remembered that I still had to finish watching the movie after a failed attempt a few months ago. Before I carried on I emptied my mind of what I knew of the franchise and went in to be as open as possible. I have played the majority of the games and own all of them except Chronicles and some of the DLC content. So it is pretty safe to say I know a thing or two. Problem is that for the most part this knowledge will stand in the way of enjoying this movie. It is therefore very prudent to forget what you know and act like you are learning about the Creed and everything that comes with it for the first time.

If you manage to do that you will find some enjoyment. Unfortunately it won't be what most of the fans will be expecting. Most people were basically hoping to see a film that at least would capture the spirit of the games. How hard can it be to copy and paste an already incredible cinematic game franchise? Especially since Ubisoft itself decided to produce it. You would think that the creators of the games couldn't do wrong. Apparently they can and how. To be fair Assassins Creed is not super bad or bad. It's decent enough if you keep your expectations in check and can overlook the fact that a lot of the best elements of the game franchise are not featured in the film. Sure there are some of the iconic characteristics that probably will warm your heart for a few seconds. But apart from those Assassins Creed is completely different. In essence it comes down to, that while building on the blocks that have already been set, you are expected to accept this film as a new origin. This is not that hard to do since there are a lot of moments that play with that notion and kind of give the dramatic tension the game franchise is known for. However that tension was backed up with far more compelling stories, dynamics and far more spectacular action. I could have gotten past the artistic approach as long as they had given us that spectacle we craved for.

The historic sequences are easily the best but are intertwined with the future ones. I guess to make it a little more entertaining and exciting as opposed to having a dude regress into his ancestors memories while lying into simulation device. The animus in the film is one giant robot arm that moves with Cal Lynch. It didn't bother me that much even when it did detract from the excitement the historic scenes were offering. Like the games the modern time is given prominence that nobody asked for. At the time the original came out it was one of the main draws until we discovered that compared to the historic adventures it was far from compelling. After the debacle that was Desmond Miles you would have thought Ubisoft had learned their lesson. It takes them 55 minutes to get to the first real exiting bit. By that I mean the first proper action sequence. Before that you get exposed to a two minute story extended to 100 minutes. I wish I was joking. The games are also known for their memorable musical scores. Each of them are unique and yet familiar. Here it's all new and only at certain times effective.

Now I know that it's not fair of me to first say to ignore what you know and then to constantly compare it anyway. But I did so that I could illustrate the major issues of this film. What point is there to an Assassins Creed movie if you are going to disregard what made people love the franchise in the first place? Also why was it so slow? They could have easily given us more flashbacks or back story on for example Maria (Ariane Labed) easily one of the most interesting characters and yet we don't learn anything about her.

I have taken a leap of faith as asked but got nothing in return. Ubisoft was so convinced of their success that they even tease a sequel. Yeah, highly unlikely. So is this film worth watching then? Honestly you aren't missing out on anything. You are better off playing the games. They will give you a for more rewarding and enjoyable cinematic experience.

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