The latest Assassin’s Creed trailer delivers some more action in the hopes of exciting both video game fans and movie lovers. Adapting any property for the big screen is a risky prospect — especially when it comes to video games — since filmmakers need to cater to existing fans and have a broader appeal, though this makes the movie look like it might just deliver on both fronts.
Assassin’s Creed tells the tale of Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender), a career criminal who was apparently executed but is very much alive and in the custody of a company called Abstergo. Dr. Sophia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) tells him this is his “second chance” as he is placed into a machine called the Animus.
Using this device, he can access, see, hear, and feel the memories of one of his ancestors, Aguilar, who lived 500 years previously during the Spanish Inquisition. Rikkin wants to use these memories to help find a mysterious object. Callum has to use the skills and knowledge he picks up through Aguilar, who was an assassin, to take on a powerful organization in the present day.
There’s a lot more action here than in the first trailer. For instance, it shows Aguilar leaping from a high surface and using a blade hidden on his arm to assassinate a man. This is one of the signature moves in the Assassin’s Creed games.
However, the trailer suggests that this movie might not completely capture the essence of the source material, Gizmodo points out. What’s most fun about the Assassin’s Creed series is the running, jumping, and diving around cities and locales of the past, where the preview suggests there will be more of a focus on Callum taking on a threat in the present day. At one point, Callum is holding a bow while he’s in the Animus, drawing on a string and preparing to launch an arrow towards an unknown enemy.
There are some other major, obvious differences between the games and this trailer. For one thing, Callum Lynch is a brand new character. The Animus is completely different too; it looks like a comfortable chair in the games while the movie uses a giant grabber arm connected directly to the subject’s body. Fassbender explained to Screen Rant that the filmmakers made the change partly to avoid comparisons with The Matrix — characters in that classic sci-fi movie enter the virtual world of The Matrix when they lie on a bed and have a cable plugged into their body.
What the Assassin’s Creed trailer does provide is evidence that many of the game’s elements have made their way into the movies. One of the long-term consequences of Animus use is the appearance of the so-called “bleeding effect,” and this is featured in the trailer when Callum starts seeing hallucinations of Aguilar while he’s in his cell.
Most importantly, it looks like there’s plenty of Spanish Inquisition material and lots of free running escapades for Aguilar and his fellow assassins. There’s lots of combat too, as Aguilar uses or evades weapons like axes, crossbows, and daggers.
Assassin’s Creed is yet another Hollywood attempt at making a successful movie adaptation of a video game. This year alone, Warcraft, Ratchet & Clank, and The Angry Birds Movie have all failed to excite either movie audiences or critics. In the past, there have been colossal failures at bringing games to the silver screen, with huge turkeys like Super Mario Bros., Max Payne, Hitman, Double Dragon, Mortal Kombat:Annihilation, and, of course, Street Fighter.
The track record is far from good for movies based on video games, but perhaps Assassin’s Creed will be the one that will finally break the mold.
Assassin’s Creed will be released on December 21, 2016, starring Fassbender, Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, and Michael K. Williams.
[Featured Image by 20th Century Fox]