Missed Opportunities In ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Will Leave You With Mixed Emotions

[quote_simple]“Everything is true, spoilers are permitted.”[/quote_simple]

Well, the movie is finally out. The movie based on the popular game series where you can jump from building to building, use a variety of weapons such as the hidden blade, which allows you to eliminate an enemy and nonchalantly walk away like nothing happened. A game where you can exhibit over 5 combo moves in battle in under 10 seconds. And last but not least, a game where you can jump off a building, land into a pile of hay, and not break one bone. That’s the game I admire. Everyone has their own fictional character that they’d wish they could become or be more like; I want to be an Assassin. I want to join the brotherhood. And when I saw that they were making a movie, words cannot express how happy I was.

I went to see Assassin’s Creed in 3D. It’s only right since the game is 3D also, so I thought it would immerse me into the world they created for this movie. I’m not sure how to describe how I felt after I exited the theater. Imagine some gives you a plate of food with mash potatoes and and nice, thick, cut of steak. Food looks delicious and it taste even better. But after you’re finished the meal, you still feel like something’s missing. The greens! The vegetables! How can you serve someone a plate without any greens?! Yes, the food was delicious and you’re somewhat satisfied, but you still feel a piece of you missing. That’s how this movie made me feel. It was visually appealing, and it was a good movie, but lacking something… and that something left me on an emotional roller coaster as I left the theater.

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Assassin’s Creed starts out with Aguilar, AKA Callum Lynch, being initiated into the Brotherhood of Assassins, then jumps to him as a child. We learn a little of his back story, such as his relationship with his parents, but while they put a lot of meat in Assassin’s Creed it still wasn’t enough. They forgot the greens. A lot of the game is shown in the movie — parkour skills, weapons, running into people’s houses to escape enemies, combat, and 3 leaps of faith (only 3!). The storyline for this movie was pretty decent, as Callum is set to die, gets kidnapped, forced to use the Animus for his freedom, gets set on a mission to find the Apple of Eden, develops the skills of the assassins, fight some templars, retrieves the Apple of Eden, kills the main templar, and… well, great story, but the way is was formatted and displayed was a bit confusing.

Callum is put to be executed for killing someone; still not sure who he killed. Once he’s put to the death, he walks up at Abstergo Industries, a corporate conglomerate that is run by the Templars. It’s not explained how he got there, all we know is he got kidnapped. He’s forced to use the Animus to help them find the Apple of Eden, and in exchange he will get a new life. He’s stuck in the facility with other participants who have assassin ancestors and they question whether he’s worthy to be part of them and worry he won’t retrieve the Apple of Eden. The thing that had me a bit confused was the Animus — or better yet, the way it’s used.

In the game, you lay on this bed with things hooked up to you, and that’s about it. In the movie, it’s completely different. You’re attached by the waist to this big transformers’ arm, and something is inserted into your neck. As you enter the simulation, your movements are also shown in reality. For example, if you’re fighting in the simulation, you’re also doing the same moves in reality. The big arm keeps you in place. It moves when you moves (just like that). Now, I’m not saying this is a bad way to show the Animus, but it did take me by surprise as it was kind of awkward to see his movements in reality while he was hooked up. But let’s get into the main problem of this movie.

The game series are based mainly on your experience in the Animus. It focuses mainly on the simulation and not reality. Unfortunately, the movie did the opposite. Not enough of Aguilar’s story was shown, instead it focused on Callum. It’s sad because when Aguilar’s story was shown, it was the best parts of the movie — the combat, dialogue, and just the environment was beautifully shown, yet we didn’t see enough of it. The events also went by quickly, where a battle sequence lasted for about a minute, and they didn’t take full advantage of showing the parkour moments. What’s also unfortunate is they failed to fully captured the assassin demeanor.

In the game, Assassins are known for being sneaky and discreet about their actions, which is a demeanor that was not exhibited in the movie at all. Sure they had a smoke bomb here and there, but having them hide in closets or silently assassinate someone were quintessential Assassin’s Creed elements that needed to be added. Oh, and the leaps of faith sucked. There is so much emotion and intensity when taking a leap of faith and it was not shown in the movie; instead they were cheap, and not amusing at all. For those who may have felt upset that the lead role wasn’t a woman, fortunately Aguilar does have a female companion assisting him on his mission. And let me tell you, she kicks ass. She’s shown in a good amount of the movie, and happily there’s no damn cheesy love interest between the two.

To sum everything up, the Assassin’s Creed movie was good — don’t get me wrong, it has a great storyline, great visuals, and great actors. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t pieced together correctly. I know it shouldn’t be a direct replica of the game series, but they really missed important opportunities to showcase all the awesome attributes of an assassin. Thank you Ubisoft for the food, but I wish it came with some greens!

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  • Anissa Hanley

    Digital Artist

    Jane of all Trades, Master of ALL.

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