Now, before I begin I think it’s important to admit that I have never played any of the Assassin’s Creed games. Nor have I ever read the book series. I walked into the theatre with a basic understanding of the game’s premise and the trailer in my mind.
Straight off the bat, I did enjoy this film. The fight scenes were incredible, Michael Fassbender’s acting was on point (as expected), the plot built at an even pace, and the ending resolved everything but left it open for further films.
I won’t go in depth as I have done with other reviews on this film because I think it is entirely unnecessary in this instance. My only quips were surface level things.
I should probably explain what I mean.
Watching the film, I couldn’t help but wonder what the ‘Apple’ was and why it was so important. If it were key to ridding the world of violence, then surely that’s a good thing? I can understand why it’s also completely and utterly stupid and naive to believe that it’s easily rid of, but the film is insistent that this is the only way. I mean, I didn’t get it. That, and the ‘villains’ of the story… their intentions were not 100% clear. Sofia only wanted to pursue this because of science, but her father was doing it for… power?
Anyway, it was confusing but ultimately not that important to the plot, apparently.
The other thing was the lack of female representation. There are only four female characters in the film. One assassin who has no lines but can kick ass, another that has some lines and also kicks butt, Sofia, and Ellen Kaye. Sofia and Ellen appear to have powerful positions within the film, Sofia being the head scientist and Ellen the leader(?) of the organisation after the ‘Apple’. That’s all fine and dandy, but they don’t speak to each other. I mean, Ellen and Sofia have a brief moment near the film’s end but… other than that. Nothing.
Don’t get me wrong, not every film needs to have female characters oozing from every corner in order to satisfy me. But having female characters that actually seem like… well, people would be a good start.
I guess that’s something else that doesn’t sit right with me about this film. Whilst it ticked a lot of boxes that make a good film for me, the characters were just not that likeable. Whilst Fassbender is a talented actor, I didn’t really understand his character. There’s no mention of the exact crime he committed, other than it warranted a death penalty, nor was it ever mentioned as to why he agreed so easily to do what the organisation wanted. At the end of the day, I don’t sympathise with him. And it’s the same feeling with all the characters in the film.
Basically, the film had promise but failed to deliver on one key aspect: Characters.