Assassins on the big screen

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By 2017-01-08

By Nirupa Mohan
Ceylon Today Features

Assassin's Creed, the latest Sci-fi film based on the popular video game series of the same name by Ubisoft, released in cinemas recently amid much anticipation among gamers. But it seems that it fell short in living up to viewer expectations.
The film by Australian film director Justin Kurzel, the man famous for his work on Snowtown (2011) and Macbeth (2015), together with producers Gerard Guillemot, Arnon Milchan, Jean-Julien Baronnet, Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall, Conor McCaughan and most notably Michael who doubles as the film's lead character. Fassbender acts as Callum Lynch, who is the descendant of Aguilar de Nerha, a 15th century assassin in Spain.

The film jumps into the plot early on with Callum, as he is to be executed and is pronounced dead, but wakes up at the Abstergo Foundation facility in Madrid, Spain. There he is told by the lead scientist doctor Sophia Rikkin (played by Marion Cotillard) that he is about to be part of the Animus Project, which is dedicated to finding the current location of the Apple of Eden, and that they believe that it is in fact the key genetic code that will have the answers to stop violence, disease and so much more. To make it a success, Callum must be connected to a machine and relive the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar.
The Irish-German lead star, Michael Fassbender, delivers an exceptionally good performance, living up to expectations based on his performance on the X-Men film series, that add to his collage of experience.

This is a game based adaptation that feels like a perfect script that could translate well into a film but seems to have lost its core action thrills along the way. Though the action sequence imaging and visuals on the Fantasy battle scenes are backed by creative special effects supported by a high-class cast, the fact that everything that happens in present day is dull, makes it as bad as you may think. It's almost disorienting that the film keeps switching back and forth from the Spanish inquisition that's 500 years in the past to present day, over and over again. Especially because the film's past portrayal holds the eye caching action scenes, while the rest become something that's slow, even if it's to just sit through.

Given the fact that the point of the Animus Project is to see, feel and hear the memories of his ancestors, as his second chance in life, the film has an exceptional premise to work with. But instead of keeping him longer in that era, the movie keeps cutting it short and focuses more on present day than is needed, making it have fewer entertaining moments, instead of using established content by sticking to the game's source material.

The film failed to achieve positive rating, and received just 3.5/5 on AlloCine, a low 17% on Rotten Tomatoes and an almost moderate 6.5/10 on IMDb with a similar 6.5/10 featured on IGN.com. The 116 minute film made with a budget of 125 million, earned just over 87 million dollars at the worldwide box office.

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