ACTORS, ACTION AND AN AGENDA
Film Review by Fiore
Full disclosure – ASSASSIN’S CREED is a video game I’ve never played. So I went into the press screening, not knowing much about the characters or the premise. That said, I found the movie quite enjoyable. Lots of action, solid acting and a story that, while farfetched, had enough credibility to fit nicely in the realm of fantasy.
I feel compelled to mention I never played the game because the same situation occurred years ago, with DOOM. I never played the game and came out of the press screening thinking Dwayne Johnson and Carl Urban had a fairly decent action flick. Afterwards, I realized the vast difference between the video game concept and the watered-down version presented in the film. It was a disappointment, to say the least.
The main character for ASSASSIN’S CREED does not exist in any of the games. Michael Fassbender plays Cal Lynch, a criminal rogue prone to acts of extreme violence, and his historical counterpart, Aguilar de Nerha, a deadly member of a league of assassins spawned from the tenants of Islam.
Lynch is scheduled for the death penalty, when he is rescued by a secret organization, Abstergo Industries. Their desire is to use a machine, the Animus, to tap into Lynch’s former lives to find an historic relic, The Apple of Eden. Depending on ideology, the Apple of Eden either contains a DNA cure for aggressive behavior in man, or the components of man’s first original sin.
Two groups are vying for the Apple, the Assassins and the Knights Templar. The Assassins want the Apple buried and forgotten, never to be used, thus preserving free will in man. The Templars want to use the Apple to eliminate aggression in man and create a world of peace. But, it’s a little more complicated than that.
A rogue sect within the Templars wants to use the Apple to bring the world under the its own rule. They are headed by Ellen Kaye, played by Charlotte Rampling, who has visions of directing the world according to her whims. Sounds a bit similar to the recent Hillary campaign.
Her instrument of world domination is Rikkin, played by Jeremy Irons. He is a brilliant scientist with the ability to decode the Apple to turn man into a society of automatons.
But, Rikkin is having difficulty finding the Apple, so he enlists the aide of his daughter, Sofia, played by Marion Cotillard. He convinces Sofia the Templars will use the apple to eliminate violence in mankind and it is only until the film’s final reels she realizes she has been duped. Something about the road to hell being paved with good intentions, comes to mind. Caught in the middle of the ideological conflict is Lynch. His part in the melodrama is further complicated by the appearance of his father, played by Brendan Gleeson, who adds clarity to Lynch’s misguided past.
KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
1. EAGLE FLIGHT SEQUENCES, ESPECIALLY THE OPENING
2. SYNC FIGHT SEQUENCES WITH 1492 AND THE ANIMUS
Fassbender is impressive as Lynch. Not normally known as an action star, he fights his way through remarkable fight sequences with aplomb. Credit intense training before filming and/or remarkable stuntmen. As Aguilar de Nerha, Fassbender purloins all the superhero qualities of comic book fame. He climbs walls and swings between buildings like Spider-Man; he fights and shoots with a bow and arrow like Green Arrow; he heals in a special solution bath, like Wolverine; he fights with the ferocity of DareDevil; and of course, survives falls from great heights by landing in the Stan Lee superhero landing pose, just before delivering a Superman Punch, a la Roman Reigns.
There are several flaws with ASSASSIN’S CREED, and they are major. The presentation of the ‘leap of faith’ is given short-shrift. The casual observer, not familiar with the video game, would easily think Aguilar has a suicidal death wish as he swan dives off the highest buildings in town. In the movie, the landings of those dives are never shown, save for one.
While eagles follow Aguilar through his adventures, the ‘eagle vision’ for identifying friends and foes, is never utilized. This may be a good thing, as it would present a PREDATOR aspect to the protagonist.
The premise for ASSASSIN’S CREED is troubling. It makes heroes out of Islamic killers. The group is based on the Hashashins of Nizari Islam. This was a fanatic cult responsible for the deaths of thousands. Their lunatic rantings were augmented through the tales of Marco Polo. They followed a mythical figure known as “the Old Man on the Mountain”. Islamic assassins are all too prevalent in our current society. They are not the substance of heroes, and their elevation to this status in the film is disturbing.
Conversely, the Knights Templar was a heroic clan, organized by the Roman Catholic Church. They included some of the biggest movers and shakers of history, and held considerable power during the Middle Ages. The Knights Templar disappeared at the height of their power, spawning belief they transformed into a covert organization, much like the Free Masons.
It’s telling that the corrupt Abstergo Industries is contained within the Templars and not the Assassins. Conveniently, the movie, which follows parameters set in the game, continues Hollywood’s desire to debase anything Christian, while promoting a retrograde religion.
Since ASSASSIN’S CREED is targeted for audiences including teens, it would be wise for parents to point out and correct this insidious indoctrination into the world of progressive globalists by screenwriters Adam Cooper and Bill Collage. The movie is enjoyable with a proper perspective and not an ‘aloha snack bar’ mentality. These two are also responsible for EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, which basically told the story of Moses, by removing God from the tale. At least they are consistent in their propaganda.
ASSASSIN’S CREED is planned as a trilogy. If this first venture is any indication, the films should be fun. Great casting of established stars adds gravitas to an otherwise fantastical yarn. Just be cautious of the indoctrination techniques, especially to youngsters, and don’t succumb to them.
THE GRADE FOR ASSASSIN’S CREED = B