Assassins Creed goes from bestselling video game to godawful movie

ASSASSINS CREED (Justin Kurzel). 115 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Wednesday (December 21). See showtimes. Rating: N Assassins.

ASSASSINS CREED (Justin Kurzel). 115 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Wednesday (December 21). See showtimes. Rating: N

Assassins Creed is a very successful series of Ubisoft video games. Now its a terrible movie, too a dull, grey, ugly movie that takes two long hours to tell a very thin story.

Michael Fassbender plays the games hero, Cal Lynch, an American convict who finds himself in a Spanish facility where an enigmatic scientist (Marion Cotillard) uses his DNA to send him back into the memories of an ancestor in 1492 Europe (also Fassbender), who was a member of an elite league of assassins sworn to protect a sacred relic from the evil Templars, who mean to use its ancient power to eradicate free will and thus quell violence upon the Earth.

Now, Im reasonably sure thats not how violence works, but its a video game premise, so it doesnt have to make total sense.

That said, some sense would still be nice. The elaborately stylized action sequences are only slightly less annoying than the philosophical junkspeak exchanged by Fassbender and Cotillard in the present as the master plot grinds itself together. (Jeremy Irons and Charlotte Rampling turn up long enough to cash cheques and wear elegantly tailored suits I hope they got to keep their wardrobe.)

I wasnt terribly impressed by Fassbender and Cotillards Macbeth with director Kurzel, but at least that one had interesting characters and a rock-solid story. Assassins Creed has literally nothing to make it worthwhile except the occasional glimpse of the terrific Greek actor Ariane Labed as a fellow assassin in the memory sequences. The film has no real use for her beyond some mild running and jumping, but at least she was paid well.

Honestly, what else is there to say? It takes a lot of effort to drain all the fun out of a video game movie, but Kurzel makes it happen.

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