Filmmakers have been out of original ideas for decades. In the past decade or so, producers have started plucking plots from video games. Most have been as one-dimensional as the games. Once in awhile, one comes along that works. That’s Assassin’s Creed.
Or at least it works for two-thirds of the movie. With — like a video game — nowhere to go, it implodes in Act 3.
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) is Cal Lynch, a convicted killer who dies and is brought back to life by the Templars. For centuries the Templars have been trying to find a sacred apple that holds the key to removing humanity’s free will.
Lynch is a direct descendent the Assassins who’ve held the Templars at bay. Marion Cotilliard (Allied) and Jeremy Irons play father and daughter Templars who put Lynch on a machine that takes him back in time to assume the identity of an ancestor and lead them to the hidden apple.
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Fassbender — who continues to remind me a lot of Burt Lancaster in looks and voice — is terrific. He has a bit of fun with the premise and brings three dimensions to an otherwise one-dimensional story. Cotilliard and Irons are actors at Fassbender’s skill level, but they move like dead wood through the story and are completely wasted.
Yes they’re wasted, but if video game movies are your thing, this one isn’t too bad.
Director: Justin Kurzel
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotilliard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling
Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 out of 5
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It’s playing at the Carmike 12, Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s, and Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.