Contempt for character development runs deep in Assassin’s Creed, a moody franchise movie based on a video game. The conflict runs deep, too—back to 1492 and Tomas Torquemada, when, in the story, the Templars sought an object that could control will power. Flash forward to 2016: the descendants of the Templars—played by Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, and Marion Cotillard—seek a descendent of the Assassins, played tersely by Michael Fassbender, to get the object. Unlike Marvel movies, Assassin’s Creed has no prolonged backstories/psychological profiles, and there is no cutesy rapport between characters. The result is joyless, but who needs joy when the action is dazzling? Yet, this is where we disagreed amongst ourselves. One of us, while impressed by the wide array of shots and angles, was not transfixed by the action, finding it too hyperactive, like Mad Max: Fury Road. On the other hand, one of us loved the action, especially the way the past was weaved with the present, and after the movie she said, “This was [expletive] amazing.” If you see it, we hope you find it [expletive] amazing, too.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White