Freeplay Frenchie Reviews Assassin’s Creed
Like most gamers witnessing their favourite franchises convert to cinema, I was apprehensive to say the least about the Assassin’s Creed movie. Though I had heard some things to suggest it could be a success, such as Ubisoft retaining most of the control about which directions to take the film in and thus create a film that fans could be proud of.
The problem with game to film creations as we all know is that sometimes the atmosphere and tone is just better conveyed in game than on the big screen. Not only that but the film will usually be filled, as Assassin’s Creed was in my opinion , with small details and references that the fans will pick up and enjoy but fall short of impressing the critics because they don’t know the games. (I’ll admit though I’m sure some critics will have played the games /be more than aware of the franchise and still remain unimpressed.) We all know that truthfully, as a film, it should stand alone cinematically without the audiences needing to be aware of all the little extra things.
This leads me onto my first point, I really enjoyed Assassin’s Creed and spoiler free I would say if you’re a fan go and see it. However I can see why the critics have given the film a majority of bad reviews. This is clearly a film for the fans and starting a film with a little bit of text to give context is, in my unprofessional opinion, not great because a film is about expression through images and it detracts. (Excluding say Star Wars)
Of course a little bit of context/text is fine and I’m no expert but it should be avoided where it can and it’s something critics don’t like. On that point I also think the whole concept of Assassin’s Creed is hard to grasp anyway. You need to suspend disbelief and if the idea is too far fetched, people don’t agree with it then call it ‘silly’. So I do wonder whether the film raised too many questions for new comers and didn’t answer them because this was essentially a film for fans. It pleased us, but left others feeling unsure and generally regarding the franchise as a ‘fantasy.’
Onto what I actually enjoyed about the film. Having an original story was a good move because it meant we were introduced to a new character with a new story rather than rehashing the game stories which would have been unwise. That being said if they’d focused on Ezio’s story, they would’ve had a much more charismatic character and some funny lines. But on the other side, Fassbender made a great criminal convict with some serious issues and his acting was on point. I do think they could have shot some beautiful scenes in Italy had they told Ezio’s story but that would’ve been a totally different film and probably would have been worse. (Although we all know Jeremy Irons makes a great Borgia.)
Which leads me onto my next point, and sorry this isn’t in keeping with things I enjoyed which I assure you there are lots of, why Jeremy Irons wasn’t given a better role I don’t know. He would’ve made a great villain and instead he got the old grandfather Templar role, not even the Grand Templar. (Although she was played by a woman and I’m happy about that.) I’m not really sure what Marion Cotillards role as Dr. Sophia Rikkin was. Yes she was the poor conflicted daughter who seemed to weirdly care about their prisoner’s welfare and sympathize with the assassins but then by the end I felt unsure to whose side she was on. It would’ve been better had Jeremy Irons taken a bigger role, played the villain we all know and love and Cotillard taken a step back where we could see more clearly where her allegiances lie.
Back to things I enjoyed, the portrayal of the assassins as murderers and terrorists of a sort was actually spot on when you think about it. In the games you’re happy to play the freedom fighter and you forget how much merciless killing you actually do. So yes we can still agree with their morals but let’s not forget their methods. Which is “Kill anyone who gets in our way” essentially for non gamer readers. I imagine the focus groups had a good influence there and reminded the big cheeses that the game is in its own way, pretty violent.
The run scene through the streets was also done particularly well with a great focus on parkour. It’s conveyed really well how much strength, stamina and agility would be needed to do what the Assassins do and it looked exhausting. Well done focus groups there too.
Although now I read it, my review may not look like I enjoyed Assassin’s Creed very much, I did, and for the fans I think they did us proud. There are bits that could have been done better, as with most game to film converts but other than that, well done Ubisoft. Now if you could only fix the next game…