Firstly, dive in:
And, so, on this dreary Tuesday, what thoughts bubble up following this tease for Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of the popular videogame series?
1. How about that title drop, eh?!
‘We’ve traced his bloodline back 500 years…to the Assassin’s Creed!’ intones Jeremy Irons, presumably on holiday from Gotham. The line and delivery straddle the boundary between awful and brilliant so uncannily I am simply incapable of telling the two apart now.
Animus Yoink Machine
If that thing doesn’t have a sound file of a voice saying ‘yoink’ every time it hoists someone up then the software guys don’t deserve the monthly doughnut box they usually get at Abstergo (or whatever other Templar front this is).
3. Hidden blades in the modern day
‘We know the subject’s ancestor was lethally proficient with hidden blades, as he will soon find out when the simulated reality we place him in imbues him with the same skill. Luckily, in the present day, he is our prisoner so he all he has is some trousers.’
‘I hear what you’re saying. We should give him some hidden blades now. Gotcha.’
4. Michael K. Williams
Here’s all the people who are upset when Michael K. Williams is in something:
5. The past looks gorgeous
It does. Shot on location, and through Adam Arkapaw’s lens, it will most likely be a glorious canvas upon which the highly trained stunt team deliver some amazing stunts with their faces hidden in a way that makes sense for a story starring hooded assassins.
6. The present looks…not so good
Sterile greys and computer generated lab environments do not for a compelling mise en scene make. Just like the source videogames, the more time spend in the past, the better.
7. The present looks like the main driver of the plot
If there’s one lesson Fox should have taken from the videogames is that the present-day wraparound stuff works best when it is kept to a minimum. The golden standard for the Assassin’s Creed games will always be the Ezio trilogy (II, Brotherhood, and Revelations), which understood that a charismatic protagonist with an interesting arc unfolding before a stunning historical backdrop (with, yes, a whole lotta stabbing) was the way to go. The present-day stuff tended to vary from ‘just fine’ to ‘obstructive’. The movie, written as it is by a trio of writers who between them have worked on Allegiant, Exodus: Kings and Men, and Tower Heist, does not look like it will be adhering to this template.