The video game industry hasn’t really been able to make the transition from gaming consoles to Hollywood, but not for a lack of trying. Given the mutual benefits that the two industries stand to gain, it makes sense that they’d both like to take advantage of being able to blend together, as the video games come with a built in audience that generates more revenue than Hollywood annually and the games are able to gain more publicity from movie viewers.
Not to mention, with the increasingly complex story lines built into games nowadays, it seems like building a successful adaptation would be one of the simpler tasks for the movie industry as opposed to trying to create entire movies around the fighters in Mortal Kombat or trying to give Chun-Li some sort of weird backstory.
Somehow, however, the only game which has been able to launch a true franchise has been Resident Evil, and their success has been largely limited to overseas where a hefty 80% of all box office revenue has derived.
However, with Assassin’s Creed, Hollywood looked like it may have finally found the answer to being able to develop a video game into a movie. Instead, like so many of the movies before it, Creed manages to fall short of expectations by failing to walk the fine line between introducing fans to the property and appealing to the already built in base who were stoked to see something which looked like it would have respected the games.
Sure, there’s some stunning visual effects through the parkour and action scenes, but these far too often don’t last long enough for fans of the game and fans of action movies to really get into the sequences.
Granted, in certain cases this is necessary, specifically when we’re dealing with an audience that isn’t familiar with the plots or even the Animus: what it is, what it does, and how it works. And in that regard, the movie brings the newcomers up to speed relatively quickly.
But the film is nearly doomed from there on out as even the excellent performances of Irons, Cotillard, and Fassbender, can’t even save a movie that leaves the viewer wanting more of the visually stunning parkour stunts and fights inside the Animus as opposed to the rigidly dull real world we end up getting, and which just makes the movie drag until it finally comes to an abrupt end which, like the animus scenes before it, leaves the viewer wanting more.
Assassin’s Creed will be in theaters nationwide December 21, 2016.
Main Photo: Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Photo Credit: Kerry Brown.