The Assassin’s Creed movie trailer is here, and we have finally seen Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past) don the hood and robes of Ubisoft’s trademarked assassin. Instead of Desmond Miles, the present day protagonist of the first few games, the movie is giving us Callum Lynch with what appears to be the same basic story.
Callum is a drifter who finds himself imprisoned in a room and forced to play what is basically a video game on a console that makes the PlayStation 4 VR headset look like an Atari 2600 casing. Desmond Miles was a bartender who at first seemed to be merely surviving his relatively normal life, when he was abducted and imprisoned where his primary purpose — they’re basically the same character.
Keep it in mind that movies based on video games have generally been failures both for critics and fans of the games, and you should probably keep your expectations in check. Some of the best films of the type were Mortal Kombat, Silent Hill, Prince of Persia, and the first Resident Evil, even if they did stray from the source material liberally.
The general consensus is that the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer is a sign that 20th Century Fox is doing everything right, but are they?
The first thing I found wrong with it was the inclusion of Kanye West allegedly rapping about himself.
“I am God, even though I’m a man of God, my whole life in the hand of God.”
Much like the Warcraft movie trailer featuring a dubstep backdrop, the music just isn’t right for the kind of movie this is supposed to be.
The lighting in the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer is also questionable, as when we see an army massing for the Spanish Inquisition, it almost looks like a scene out of 300. Zack Snyder’s 300 was bigger on visuals than it was on story, much like most movies based on video games.
Apparently Michael Fassbender actually went into this movie with no knowledge of the game at all, learning as he went. From the action scenes revealed in the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer, it seems apparent that he was one of the few who went into it ignorant.
Ubisoft is actually behind this movie, which may or may not be a good sign. Remember that Nintendo was behind Super Mario Bros., and Capcom was behind Street Fighter. Both were embarrassing messes that were blatant attempts to grab more money from a popular franchise. Fans of the series will know that this is how Ubisoft has been doing business for the past decade, milking the fans for extra money to get the full game.
Thankfully, they didn’t do that with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. All of the actual content add-ons for that game are free or earned with Uplay points gained by playing it. I took advantage of the Ubisoft sale where I got the game for half price on PSN, and I’d willingly pay full retail after having beaten it once.
I hear the first hour of the Assassin’s Creed movie is just Michael Fassbender climbing tall buildings to reveal the whole map.
— Rich Gallup (@rich_gallup) May 12, 2016
Of course, movies and video games differ in some key ways, the most obvious being that you don’t control what happens in a film. While the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer appears to be staying true to the game, there is still a lot we haven’t seen yet. It could end up being the biggest let-down in video game-based movie history, like most sequels to the ones that worked.
That song playing throughout the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer made me want to headbutt an ice pick several times
— AlphaOmegaSin (@AlphaOmegaSin) May 12, 2016
Expectations were extremely high for Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, and others, and we know how those turned out.
Big name celebrities like Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard (Inception), and Jeremy Irons (Die Hard with a Vengeance) aren’t going to save this movie all by themselves. That depends entirely on director Justin Kurzel’s ability to give us a film which doesn’t insult its fan base.
The Assassin’s Creed movie trailer shows potential, but there are many ways it could fail.
[Image via 20th Century Fox]