I’d like to tell you the plot of “Assassin’s Creed,” but I honestly can’t. Everything about this noisy, shallow mess of a movie is so convoluted and so dreadful that I doubt even die-hard fans of the video game on which its based would find much to enjoy in this cinematic voyage of sloppiness.
There’s some sci-fi hooey about genetic memory technology and a secret society of Assassins and the evil Templars, but the film jumps back and forth from present day to 15th century Spain in the most unskilled and frustrating way possible, leading to more questions than answers. At times it feels more like a Redbox knockoff film, a brown-hued “Matrix” rip-off that is so awful that the DVD version will probably sit unsold for eight months on a dusty shelf at Big Lots.
I was suckered in by the A-list talent, including the likes of Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Brendan Gleeson, and Jeremy Irons. Why such accomplished actors would agree to star in this paper-thin dreck boggles the mind. There is absolutely nothing compelling about this movie. The screenplay is lousy, the direction is shoddy, and it’s plotted with such lethargy that a five minute stretch honest to god felt like it lasted five hours.
I kept waiting for the movie to get better (or to at least become a bit more coherent), but alas, that never happened. Even the action sequences are stale, lifeless, and confusing. The cinematography looks like someone smeared dirt all over the camera lens: it’s brown and dusty and just plain ugly. All I could do was sit there, in a fashion not unsoiled to Dr. Brodsky’s Ludovico medical technique in “A Clockwork Orange,” and quietly listen to two hours of my life tick away in a tornado of unsightly CGI and turbulent plotting.
There isn’t much worse in the movie world than a bad big screen video game adaptation, and “Assassin’s Creed” is one of the worst of the bunch.