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With: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael K. Williams, Khalid Abdalla, Ariane Labed, Denis Ménochet, Essie Davis
Written by: Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Directed by: Justin Kurzel
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, thematic elements and brief strong language
Running Time: 116
Date: 12/21/2016

Assassin's Creed (2016)

1 Star (out of 4)

Rotten Apple

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Despite a high-class cast and a Shakespearian director, this fantasy-battle movie — based on a video game — is disorienting, makes very little sense, and, worst of all, is a terrible, humorless bore. Director Justin Kurzel and stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard had previously offered a faithful version of Macbeth, and it's a puzzle as to how they went from highbrow to the extremely lowbrow with the barely coherent Assassin's Creed. They have gone from reciting classic verse to Fassbinder fighting shirtless and Cotillard gaping at him from the sidelines.

In Assassin's Creed, the Templar Order has for centuries been after the Apple of Eden, which is said to contain the secret for controlling human free will. Meanwhile, the Assassin's Creed is charged with protecting it. Scientist Sophia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) locates prisoner Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender), a descendent of the Creed, and plugs him into a machine that allows him to re-live his ancestor's battles, and to discover the location of the Apple. Meanwhile, Sophia's father, CEO Alan Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), secretly wishes to use it to end all violence and rule the world. Can Callum realize his destiny and re-capture the Apple before it's too late?

Perhaps fans of the video game understand, but in the movie, the concept of the Apple of Eden, and its hiding place, make very little sense. These characters don't seem to have much reason to even be here. Aside from the two leads, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael K. Williams, and Khalid Abdalla project great gravity and seriousness while becoming lost in a swamp of gray, sludgy, ugly cinematography and choppy editing.

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