As a sometimes gamer, there is a hand full of video games that I love to play. One of those is Assassin's Creed. One of the things I've loved about the game is one it has a serious plot, an interesting character to play and a broad scope based on history. It is this that causes trouble for Assassin's Creed the movie.
Let's face it; most movies based on video games have problems to overcome. Most video games have little in the way of a usable movie plot or characters that are paper thin. Then there are games like World of Warcraft which is basically huge in scope and reliant on a character the gamer creates. No real plot but a series of loosely related adventures. A few video games are the opposite problem. The scope of the game is huge and has a cast of characters with one or two fleshed out characters and the rest basically included for gaming action. No back story really needed. They exist because without them the game character has no one to challenge him or her. What this all means is that for the most part, video games turned into movies seldom work.
Assassin's Creed has the last problem. The story is just too vast. Even though the movie tries to condense the story, it has the problem of dealing with the world that gamers are immersed in while playing but movie viewers aren't. The movie is entertaining and has some really good action sequences, but it has so many stories it wants to tell that it fails in the end to become the action movie it wants to be. Its cast is a stellar one with Michael Fassbender as the assassin Cal in the present and Aguilar in the past. The problem is that because of the dueling timeline stories, we don't really get the relationships that the assassins seem to share in both past and present. The creation of characters that don't exist in the video game also doesn't really lessen this issue.
Then there is the bad guy, Rikkin, played by Jeremy Irons. Irons is always a great villain. Assassin's Creed utterly fails to use this talented actor. The final conflict between Cal and Rikken is, to put it bluntly, anti-climactic. It is clear that the movie was supposed to be good enough that its sequel will be automatic which according to rumors is already in the works. Maybe the sequel will help, but the scope of the story needs work.
The movie was enjoyable enough if you like solely action sequences and amazing CGI. The movie does also capture some of the more amazing scenes that are straight out of the game. That flavor is there, but Assassin's Creed is just too sprawling in the story it wants to tell to succeed in what it wants to accomplish.