If you’ve loved playing the Assassin’s Creed computer games as much as we have then the announcement of Ubisoft Motion Pictures and New Regency Productions’ movie adaptation release will have come as pretty big news. However, video games don’t translate well on the big screen with a long history of missing the mark when it comes to anything vaguely resembling critical acclaim, but with Michael Fassbender in the lead role it looked like they’d thrown everything into making this one the exception to the rule. Sadly, that didn’t turn out to be the case with clunky delivery and a confused concept of game. Read more in our review summary below.
Though the film has its own unique storyline and hero, it’s based on the same age-old struggle between the controlling forces of the Templars and the shadowy Assassin’s that are committed to stopping them. The game first appeared in 2007 on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC and following the success of the first two titles it has gone on to become an regular release, with the latest installment, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, bringing Victorian London to life in 2015. Now the series has taken its first steps on the big screen and with the DVD release under its belt, the question is whether or not it will go on to be a regular feature at the box office with a whole new action adventure movie series, despite the poor reviews its picked up.
The Assassin’s Creed movie had a UK cinematic release date of the 1st January 2017, following on from its arrival in the US on the 21st December 2016. It’ll have competition in the UK box office from dramatic fantasy fiction adaptation, A Monster Calls, which is out on the same date.
DVD, Blu-ray and digital download:
The film made its way to DVD on the 15th May 2017, along with Blu-ray and digital download releases in the UK. It’ll also be available on 4k Ultra HD.
The film centres on the entwined destinies of Spanish 15th Century Assassin, Aquilar, and his modern day ancestor, Callum Lynch with both being portrayed by Fassbender. When Callum discovers a way to synchronise his memories with those of his Assassin predecessor, he gets to relive portions of Aquilar’s life, finding himself at the head of a vicious ongoing war for the order of the Knights Templar.
In the modern day Callum will also find himself with the might of Abstergo Industries to contend with, the latest incarnation of the Templars and their world domination plan. Though the film has its own new storyline, Assassin’s Creed head of content, Azaïzia Aymar, recently confirmed that it will very much be the same universe as the games, which means we could see some familiar names getting in on the action before the plot reaches its conclusion.
The British Board Of Film Classification has certified the film as 12A with “moderate violence and infrequent strong language”.
In addition to Michael Fassbender in the roles of Aquilar and Callum, the cast will includes Marion Cotillard, who recently starred alongside the X-Men star in the 2015 movie adaptation of Macbeth. She’s joined by Michael K. Williams (Boardwalk Empire, Ghostbusters (2016)) and Ariane Labed (The Lobster), along with both Jeremy Irons (Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice) and Brendan Gleeson (Suffragette (2015)) to build out an impressive cast list for the film.
Interestingly, Justin Kurzel was brought on board to direct the film, following up on his work with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in Macbeth (2015), which picked up a fair amount of critical acclaim following its premier at Cannes. New Regency, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, DMC Films and Kennedy/Marshall are behind the film with 20th Century Fox distributing. Producers include Arnon Milchan, Jean-Julien Baronnet, Jean De Rivieres, Michael Fassbender and Frank Marshall.
Filming kicked off in September 2015, with locations including London, Malta and Spain. Check out Michael Fassbender’s Twitter page for pics and info from behind the scenes of the film.
As fans of the computer game series, despite the well-trodden gameplay aspects, we were biased in favour of the potential of the Assassin’s Creed movie, but even that isn’t enough to overcome the disoriented adaptation that we’ve been given. With Justin Kurzel in the director’s chair, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cottillard in the cast and the genius of the AC universe behind it, it should have been one of the best computer game movie adaptations to-date, but instead it’s one of the worst, with little in the way of redeeming features. The trailer below showed a lot of promise, but the reality is that there was very little entertainment value or adventure to draw you in to the story and the character development was as blank as it gets. Read our full Assassin’s Creed DVD review for more details.