Video game movies have a sketchy reputation to say the least, from the relative high of Warcraft to the terrible, terrible lows of every Uwe Boll movie, but does the new Assassin’s Creed movie, starring Michael Fassbender, soar like an eagle or sneak away with its tail between its legs?
Our own Assassin's Creed movie (opens in new tab) review says it’s a “loving recreation” of certain parts of Ubisoft’s storied franchise (weird Animus thing notwithstanding) but, narratively, it falls flat. But don’t just take our word for it, what did the rest of the world think about Assassin’s Creed's movie debut?
AV Club (opens in new tab) on the movie's stars
Like [Macbeth], Assassin’s Creed is most compelling when Fassbender and Cotillard whisper at each other in close proximity. Both actors have such adult intensity that their participation in a juvenile fantasy (replete with simultaneous hood-flipping and at least a half dozen dramatic dives from great heights…) becomes a source of bizarre fascination—for a little while, anyway.
IGN (opens in new tab) on the action sequences
The Spanish Inquisition sequences in Assassin's Creed are its strong suit. Aguilar (also played by Fassbender) has even less to say than Callum, but it doesn’t really matter when he’s leaping between dusty Spanish rooftops, running across ropes, and diving off Church spires. This is breathless, dizzyingly shot stuff that feels tapped directly into the vein of the game series.
The Guardian (opens in new tab) on the confusing plot
'What the fuck is going on?' mutters Michael Fassbender’s character through clenched teeth, reasonably early on in the course of this interminable film… You can imagine each of its stars – Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Essie Davis – saying much the same thing while looking through the script, before being directed to the fee on the last page of their contract. It’s an action movie, with dollops of thriller and splodges of Dan Brown conspiracy… And yet it is at all times mysteriously, transcendentally boring.
IndieWire (opens in new tab) on Assassin's Creed as a video game movie
Declaring “Assassin’s Creed” to be the best video game movie ever made is the kind of backhanded compliment that sounds like hyperbole, but the description fits the bill on both counts. Regardless of what you call this peculiar, arrestingly uninviting nonsense, the fact of the matter is that it’s the only blockbuster of 2016 that left me desperate for a sequel.
Den of Geek (opens in new tab) on the Spanish Inquisition setting
There are a few twists and turns for Callum, but you’ll want to see more of Aguilar, making it wearisome when we’re forced to jump in time to and fro. Since the main driving force of the movie - in both time periods - is a MacGuffin, couldn't we stay in the past for a bit longer? Maybe flesh out the Spanish inquisition characters into fully fledged people who all have lines? Apparently not.