ASSASSIN’S CREED: First Reviews Hit The Web…So What’s The Verdict?

– by Joseph Medina

We’ve been saying here for some time that Assassin’s Creed is in something of an important position. Decades have gone by, and studios have tried their hand at making a solid video game adaptations many a time…and pretty much all have been unsuccessful. One can make an argument for the success of the Resident Evil franchise, but those films have too specific of a fanbase to truly be called successes.

Fast forward to now, and we have the likes of Assassin’s Creed. This is one of those video games that seemed perfectly tailor-made for the big screen. Between its story-driven nature and killer visuals, there’s no reason this shouldn’t be be a homerun for all parties involved — especially with such actors as Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Irons behind it. Surely, this flick could open the floodgates to a whole new era of video game movies.

So what’s the verdict? Some outlets have had a chance to see the film, and while our very own Kellvin Chavez has already shared that he thought the film was pretty good, many other outlets did not agree.

Check out some of what other outlets had to say below!


Peri Nemiroff - Collider

"Minus the material with Aguilar and Maria, Assassin’s Creed operates in cruise control. A similar sequence of events happens over and over again, and all you can do is just sit back and look at the pretty picture. And yes, Assassin’s Creed often does look fantastic, especially the costume design and the chase sequences that take place in the 15th Century. But all the riveting roof-top running and hand-to-hand combat in the world won’t make a movie worthwhile if you don’t give a damn about the characters."

Owen Gleiberman - Variety

"It’s not clear why any of this is happening, but to say that Assassin’s Creed doesn’t make a lot of sense would be both accurate and beside the point. The film’s plot is a shambles, yet everything in it links back, with loopy exactitude, to the past — like the fact that Callum’s father, Joseph (Brendan Gleeson), killed his mother, even though he did it at the behest of forces greater than himself.
[…]
"It’s seriously doubtful that the movie will find enough of those fans in the U.S. to qualify as a domestic success. Yet that may not matter: In the suspended vagueness of its drama, “Assassin’s Creed” speaks the kinetic aesthetic language of the global market."

Jesse Hassenger - The A.V. Club

"As far as nerd-skewing pulp goes, Assassin’s Creed is a long way from the likes of The Dark Knight Rises or X-Men: Days Of Future Past. It’s the kind of movie that opens with an underlit, subtitled, text-prefaced, and deeply boring prologue that some genre filmmakers seem convinced provides an instantly mesmerizing entrée into their joyless world-building."

Scott Mendelson - Forbes

"It is a tired cliché to say that a bad video game movie is akin to watching someone else play a bad video game. But Assassin’s Creed takes that trope to the next level. Thanks to a plot device that turns a relatively simple premise into an “spend the whole movie explaining the rules” set-up, this movie is akin to watching someone else watch someone else play a bad video game. That extra layer of detachment creates copious layers of disinterest, rendering what could have been a passable action fantasy into a laughably bad botch."

Stephanie Zacharek - Time

"Assassin’s Creed the movie is fairly innocuous. It’s also cheerless and dumb. 
[…]
"The plot of Assassin’s Creed is very confusing. No, scratch that: It’s a mess. You might not really care, but the movie—directed by Justin Kurzel, the Australian director whose last picture was a supergritty version of Macbeth, also starring Fassbender and Cotillard—is rife with squandered opportunities.
[…]
"The 15th Century wasn’t a great time to be alive, and it’s not even such nice place to visit. We went all the way back in time with Assassin’s Creed and all we got was this lousy apple. It’s not even a real one."

Peter Bradshaw - The Guardian

"It’s an action movie, with dollops of thriller and splodges of Dan Brown conspiracy; and hardly five minutes go by without someone in a monk’s outfit doing a bit of sub-parkour jumping from the roof of one building to another. And yet it is at all times mysteriously, transcendentally boring.
"I bet playing the game is much more exciting. But then getting Fassbender to slap a coat of Dulux on the wall of his hi-tech prison cell and monitoring the progressive moisture-loss would be more exciting. "

Adi Robertson - The Verge

"There’s inevitably a hint of shameless money-grab to any film adaptation of a ludicrously popular video game franchise, especially one that specifically appeals to people who must uncover every secret in the mythos. Still, Assassin’s Creed’s creators have the courage to always take themselves seriously, even when they’re working with material that sounds fundamentally silly. There’s no great leap of faith in Assassin’s Creed, but a surprising amount of the time, it at least finds steady footing."

I have to say, this doesn’t have me thrilled to check out the film in theaters, but audiences haven’t always agreed with critics, so there’s always a chance that audiences will find something to like here that a more cynical eye would miss.

What do you think of these first reviews? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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