Combining conspiratorial gobbledegook with lots of running and jumping over medieval rooftops, this adaptation of the popular video game series Assassin’s Creed comes across as the Da Vinci Code with added parkour. Sadly, it’s not a happy mix.
To get to the action, there are gobs of baffling exposition to swallow as Michael Fassbender’s death-row convict, Cal Lynch, gets roped into a centuries-old battle between two ancient secret societies, the Assassins and the Knights Templar. Unbeknown to him, Cal is descended from an Assassin back in the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Aguilar de Nerha, a kick-ass warrior striving to keep an ancient artefact out of the hands of his foes the Templars.
Left looking silly
The so-called Apple of Eden contains, it appears, the genetic code for free will. Seeking a cure for violence in the present day, Marion Cotillard’s scientist, Sofia Rikkin, wants to yank the object’s location from Cal’s DNA memory and straps him to a giant robotic arm that allows him to act out his ancestor’s deeds.
Effectively playing a virtual-reality game, Fassbender is left looking silly. His illustrious co-stars, including Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson and Charlotte Rampling, aren’t much better off. It’s the stunt performers who shoulder the film’s heavy lifting, but their feats are swamped by CGI. Fans of Fassbender’s previous collaboration with co-star Cotillard and director Justin Kurzel, 2015’s brilliant Macbeth, will be disappointed. Fans of the video game probably won’t be that thrilled, either.
Certificate 12. Runtime 115 mins. Director Justin Kurzel
Assassin’s Creed is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download from Twentieth Century Fox.