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ASSASSIN'S CREED               Movie Review

 

 

 

 Main actors

 

CAL LYNCH / AGUILAR            MICHAEL FASSBENDER
SOFIA                                              MARION COTILLARD
RIKKIN                                           JEREMY IRONS
JOSEPH LYNCH                          BRENDAN GLEESON
ELLEN KAYE                                CHARLOTTE RAMPLING
MOUSSA                                        MICHAEL K. WILLIAMS
McGOWAN                                   DENIS MENOCHET
MARIA                                            ARIANE LABED
SULTAN MUHAMMAD XII      KHALID ABDALLA
CAL’S MOTHER                           ESSIE DAVIS

 

 

 

 

 

Review by dalia di giacomo + excerptions from production notes

 

 

© 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

“We work in the dark to serve the light. We are assassins.”

 

Audiences can  finally see the game series ASSASSIN’S CREED brought to life, in the  action film directed by Justin Kurzel (MACBETH, SNOWTOWN). The movie, which stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, is based on  the overall ASSASSIN’S CREED narrative that fans will surely recognize.  It seems quite strange to me to review this movie without having played the game(s), although I have the dvd’s  for pc-game  (i dont have game stations) but yet still not  installed on any of my computers. But it’s better this way, so i could enjoy the movie at the press screening without being compelled to force any  comparison with the game.  And I must say this is a great movie, based on action of course , yet delivering a story that runs from present to the past. Director Justin Kurzel says. “I could have shot it all in a parking lot and made it very CGI-heavy, but I thought what was really interesting was to see how we could make the audience feel as though it were possible; that these Assassins in real life could jump between buildings.”. “What’s so amazing about this stuff is that you can do it,” says Kurzel. “You’re looking at an Assassin jumping off a building and going, ‘Is that possible?’ Well, we did it. I think that’s very important, especially if the film’s going to have some sense of its own identity. We’ve paid our dues to figure out how you jump from building to building, and leap and climb. What is a Leap of Faith that feels real and tangible and visceral?”

 I liked the special effects, the actors and their characters, but even more I liked to reason about Assassins and Templars. Assassins and Templars are someties described as holy warriors, sometimes as vicious secret societies. In a way or another they did play a role in historical events, they existed and they had their time of power and..why not, I am sure they exist  even nowadays. How different are the images of Templars and Assassisns given to us by different movies, let’s think of The Da Vinci Code and of Prince Of Persia (Ubisoft’s ASSASSIN’S CREED franchise began life sometime after the release of PRINCE OF PERSIA: SANDS OF TIME)  And, obviously, i like the hypotethical  idea that the memory of our ancestors is written in our DNA, our genetic code. This was something I was thinking  of already when I was studying at the university, many years ago. Therefore in this movie there are many interesting thematics, expressed with a typical videogame rhythm. The Knights Templar, as presented in this film, value control over free will while Assassins do believe in free will,  take their inspiration from the Eagle, killing their enemies with hidden blades. This movie  describes  the Assassin Brotherhood and the Templar Order as two groups that have been at war for centuries, trying to trace artefacts of a previous civilisation. The Templars, in particular, try to bend politics and religions to their purposes and have been responsible for the greatest conflicts in Earth’s history, from the Crusades to the Cold War. But in current times the Templars operate with technology and science. By the time of the events of Justin Kurzel’s ASSASSIN’S CREED movie,  it’s on Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) that the Templars have put their interest and all their hopes  to reach  their goal. They want an artifact at any cost, the „Apple“, through which they claim tob e able to control humanity in the way they want. The last person that hold the Apple was an ancestor of Callum Lynch. Under the direction of her father, Alan Rikken (Jeremy Irons), the brilliant young scientist Dr. Sofia Rikken (Marion Cotillard), arranges to save Callum from the execution in a Death Row, bringing him  to the Abstergo facility   where  he can take part in her experiments with a higly  advanced technological device called Animus.    Callum is  a lost ,  innerly troubled man, whose mother was killed  at his father’s hand when he was  a boy.  Through the exposure to the Animus Callum will have his genetic memories unlocked and he will regress and experience the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nehra, who lived in Spain in 15th Century and was a member oft he assassin Brotherhood and fought against the biggest Spanish Inquisitor, Tomás de Torquemada. It is revealed that Torquemada is a Templar, manipulating the Inquisition itself. The movie develops between past and present with speed , combats , secret meetings or rituals , acrobatic parcours/freerunnig that win the verticality of buildings,  and different « creeds ». I gladly say that the story is involving and that there will be enough suspence in order to offer a not too predictable end. Moreover it is interesting to see the functionality of  the hidden blade, a deadly device, a piercing dagger, that can be extended and retracted which is perfect fort he Assassins  that act in secrecy and hiding in plain sight .

 Enjoy the movie in theaters and dont miss the dvd when it will be released! 

 

 

dalia di giacomo   

 

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