Today I venture down yet another new path on my blog as I actually review something. I suppose I’ve reviewed things in a backhanded fashion from the start with my Top Five’s, but I’ve always fancied writing some kind of critique on something to see if I’m any good at it.
So the subject of my dummy run is Assassin’s Creed starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons. As I’m a huge fan of the game series of the same name it’s perhaps quite surprising that I only just got around to watching the movie adaptation two days ago. “Why?” you might be asking. Allow me to enlighten you.
When I heard the movie was in production I was insistent on pretty much going watching it on the day of release. Why wouldn’t I? I play the games religiously so I deserved the best seat in the house to watch the movie in my opinion. As the premiers approached I kept hearing things about it and none of them were good. In fact they were all bad. I didn’t hear a single redeemable thing. This reduced my desire to see the movie.
Then it came out and things only got worse. I read reviews and was told by a few people that the movie was a fail. It was too short and lacking in depth. That sounded believable. Assassin’s Creed games are invariably the antithesis of too short and lacking in depth so the idea of the movie being crammed into less than two hours inclusive of credits didn’t fill me with confidence.
All of this led me to the ultimate decision not to waste my money on an overpriced cinema ticket. I didn’t want to see the movie and it kill some of the essence of my favourite game series. That was that then.
The other night we had nothing to do (like most nights really – the joys of having children) and decided to stick a film on. Assassin’s Creed was available so we decided on that if we could find a decent enough copy. If it really was naff then I wouldn’t mind as much as it cost me nothing.
It wasn’t naff. It wasn’t even close to naff. It was, in actual fact, a very good movie! Fassbender was brilliant as Calum Lynch and his ancestor, Aguilar de Nehar. The other characters were really good too. I think Jeremy Irons has the second best voice in cinema after the dearly departed Alan Rickman. Whenever he appears on screen I simply have to watch. Then there were the fight/chase scenes that were superbly choreographed. They didn’t veer from the in-game fighting styles at all. The action was great and the story was too.
It wasn’t all positives though. I agree with those who say it’s perhaps too short. It did feel rushed and you didn’t get time to develop any sort of connection with the characters on an emotional level as a result. That’s what the games are good at. They hook you into the character even if you don’t especially like them (ahem – Connor in AC3). I felt a little short changed in that I didn’t get to know too much about Calum Lynch aside from his motives as regards his father.
That is about all I can say on the downside and it wasn’t enough to ruin the movie to the point where I came away saying I didn’t like it. I really did. I won’t say it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen, but it’s nowhere near one of the worst. It sits in the top half comfortably. The rumour is that it’s the first in a trilogy and if that is the case then I’ll definitely be going to the cinema to see the second instalment. It’ll deserve a big screen just as this one did.
I bemoan all of the doomsayers who badmouthed the movie and influenced my decision not to go and watch it when it first came out. I bemoan myself for allowing them to influence my decision. I call myself a free thinker… yeah, right!
I won’t do anything as banal as giving it a score out of ten as my rating really amounts to the square root of zilch. Instead I’ll go down a different route. Watch this movie. If you like your fast paced action and beautifully choreographed fight scenes then it’s well worth two hours of your time. The concept is really interesting if you’re a noob to the Assassin’s Creed series too. I think most normal people would enjoy this movie. Screw the critics! When are they ever right about anything…?
Title image from Imp Awards.