Director: Justin Kurzel
Screenwriters: Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage
Michael Kenneth Williams
Runtime: 115 mins.
Australian release date: 1 January 2017
How did it come to this? How does a brilliant director like Justin Kurzel, whose debut effort was the disturbing Snowtown and whose sophomore film was the equally impressive Macbeth, go on to direct this preposterous nonsense? Perhaps money is the answer, as it so often is. No doubt the original Assassin’s Creed video game is fun but that’s probably because you’re immersed within it - it’s a different beast altogether when you’re on the outside looking in. Admittedly, Kurzel does as good a job as he can, given the out there, hard-to-follow (let alone believe) script, and he’s helped a lot by fellow Aussies Adam Arkapaw (cinematographer), brother Jed Kurzel (music) and some whizz-bang SFX but, nonetheless, it’s a long two hours in the cinema.
Michael Fassbender plays the dual role of modern-day murderer Callum Lynch and his 15th century ancestor Aguilar, a member of the Assassins, a secretive network at war with the Knights Templar. When Cal is saved from the death penalty by the mysterious Sophia (Marion Cotillard), who works for the shadowy Abstergo Industries run by her father Alan Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), he soon learns that he wasn’t rescued out of the goodness of their hearts. He finds instead that he’s to be a guinea pig in the Animus Project and his DNA will be used to send him back to the Spanish Inquisition to find the Apple of Eden, which has the power to rid the world of violence. Told you it was out there. As game-to-movie transformations go, this isn’t the worst and if that’s damning Assassin’s Creed with faint praise, it’s really all you can say about it.