Assassin’s Creed – The Knights Templar have been searching for the fabled Apple of Eden in order to take away humanity’s free will but an ancient order of Assassin’s work in the shadows to stop them and protect the world from becoming enslaved. After being executed by lethal injection, Callum Lynch awakens to discover he is a descendant of an Assassin and, with the help of Dr Sophia Rikkin and her technology, Callum can re-live the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar. Discovering the secrets of his past and bloodline, Callum is embroiled into a sinister plot but, with little chance of escape, he has to strike a balance between being himself, understanding his family’s past, and survival.
Assassin’s Creed (2017) – Director: Justin Kurzel
Running Length: 115 mins
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
‘ASSASSIN’S CREED’ REVIEW
Based on the popular computer games of the same name, ‘Assassin’s Creed’ follows a man living in the present who, via a technologically advanced machine called the ‘Animus’ is able to relive the exciting memories of his ancestor from the Spanish Inquisition of 1492. The plots of the games are generally a tenuous attempt to tie a story together in between the action sequences and whilst this muddled generality could have been used as purely a launching pad for a stand alone plot in this big budget adaptation, unfortunately the movie has done its best to stay true to its rather confused origins. What is essentially a simple (and enjoyable) plot has been twisted and forced into a complex series of events that are superficial and confusing (especially for anyone who isn’t a huge fan of the games).
Several interesting characters are introduced but barely any time is given to their backstories. This results in most characters being little more than one-dimensional plot props and, when they make important decisions or dramatic things happen to them, the audience feels no weight to what they see. The action itself is brilliantly done although there simply isn’t enough of it; it regularly cuts exactly when the audience is on the edge of its seat. There is no resolution to seemingly impossible stunts and towards the end of the movie, all sense of internal logic is warped as the seemingly complicated becomes simple, and visa verse, leaving it difficult to feel any satisfaction from the finale due to confusion!
While it is fun to watch and Michael Fassbender has the perfect level of intensity, slight madness and likeability for the main role – once ‘Assassin’s Creed; is off the big screen it is unlikely to amass a great following and, despite its obvious desire for a sequel, this poor first outing is will struggle to get may people clamouring for more.
IS ‘ASSASSIN’S CREED’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
As might be expected about a movie about assassins, there are numerous killings throughout. Due to the time period, this is mainly with swords, daggers and bows and arrows; the preferred method of killing tends to be one or two daggers to the neck/throat. The stabbings are often shown on camera but there is barely any blood or gore seen and other than a shocked or mildly pained facial expression, little suffering is seen. There is also talk of heretics beings burned at the stake. A painting and then a scene shows this as part of a public execution. In the scene the pyres are seen from a distance and are already in full blaze so nothing graphic is shown. One character is seen in close up as the fuel is added to the kindling beneath his feet. He is brave but also afraid; the fire is lit but the camera cuts away and no suffering is seen or heard.
A man allows his finger to be chopped off as part of an initiation into a secret order. This isn’t shown on-screen as the camera focuses on his face, he grimaces slightly and groans mildly. He turns away and, due to a fire blazing behind him, he is seen in silhouette as is the blood that drips from where his finger was for a second.
A boy walks into his home and sees his mother sitting in a chair. He speaks to her before realising that she is actually dead. Her eyes are still open (although quite droopy as if she was falling asleep) and she is sitting upright in the chair. The notion that a child could come home to find a parent dead could be especially upsetting for children. The boy then sees a hooded man with a blade in the corner of the room, he is initially surprised but calms down quickly.
A man faces execution by lethal injection, he is strapped to a hospital-style bed and various tubes are put into his arms. He is clearly scared and breathes heavily, his fear increases as the substance is seen moving through the tubes towards him. He keeps his composure throughout this ordeal but he is obviously afraid to die.
A village is overtaken by some dangerous men. They find a child being hidden and the leader of the men asks a woman to reveal who was hiding the boy. He is very aggressive and threatens to harm the woman if she doesn’t cooperate. A man steps forward to ‘confess’ (it is likely he is attempting to sacrifice himself to save the woman). The leader then tells his men to ‘hang his family and make him watch’, the camera the focuses of three young children who are dragged away.
A man lies in bed, asleep; there is then a sudden visual of a man jumping on top of another man to kill him (shot in silhouette), this is accompanied by an echoing screech and is likely to make many of the audience jump in surprise.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT – IS ‘ASSASSIN’S CREED’ FOR KIDS?
‘Assassin’s Creed’ is definitely both entertaining and exciting but with an overcomplicated plot and such superficial characters, there’s little to encourage viewers to watch it again. Due to the violence being quick, non-gory and generally against ‘bad’ people, we feel this movie is appropriate for kids aged eight and over.
- Violence: 4/5
- Emotional Distress: 2/5 (a few people who are loved ones to established characters die or are killed but there is little distress or upset shown on-screen)
- Fear Factor: 2/5
- Sexual Content: 0/5
- Bad Language: 2/5 (one strong word is uttered quietly but clearly, otherwise some infrequent mild cursing and blasphemy)
- Dialogue: some references to people being burned at the stake or hung.
- Other Notes: Deals with themes of ancestry, blood lines, ancient orders, technology, the desire to bring about peace on Earth, free will, putting an important task above the lives of yourself and those you care about, the evils of the Spanish Inquisition, man’s desire to control the masses and fighting against a stronger foe to protect the innocent.
Words by Laura Record