Here Is Why The Assassin’s Creed Movie Failed7 min read

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Alexander Vandewalle

Alexander Vandewalle

Screenanigans is a blog that aims at a casual talk about film and television, just for fun! It was founded in 2016 by Alexander Vandewalle in the belief that the often made distinction between 'high culture' and 'low culture' is unnecessary and basically useless. Screenanigans therefore tries to combine the two. Pay us a visit at screenanigans.wordpress.com!
Alexander Vandewalle

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Video game movies are notoriously bad. For some reason, they almost always seem to fail, and I can’t actually bother myself to get excited for the upcoming Tomb Raider movie (2018, Roar Uthaug), even though it is based on a game I really enjoyed and Alicia Vikander, taking up the role of Lara Croft (an icon in video game culture), is a terrific actress. YouTuber The Closer Look made a video essay about video game movies, suggesting a couple of reasons why they tend to fall flat and disappoint:

I’m currently playing through the so far excellent Assassin’s Creed Origins (2017, Ubisoft). The setting is magnificent, the story is exciting and the move to a more RPG-based gameplay system works really well. The fact that you can hear people shouting in ancient Greek in the streets of Alexandria is an incredibly satisfying bonus. I think I’ve spent over 13 hours playing it, and due to its vast array of entertaining side quests, bonus missions and unlockable locations I’m nowhere near half of the main quest’s story.

Playing through Origins got me thinking about the Assassin’s Creed film (2016, Justin Kurzel) a while back. The movie has an 18% Tomatometer score and a 43% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, the critics consensus stating that “Assassin’s Creed is arguably better made (and certainly better cast) than most video game adaptations; unfortunately, the CGI-fueled end result is still a joylessly overplotted slog.” And true, the cast for the film is impressive: with Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons and, most significantly, Michael Fassbender as both the present-day protagonist Callum and the historical assassin Aguilar, the movie presents strong actors with an impressive history in both popular and art house media. Nevertheless, almost everything else was disappointingly lackluster, despite the movie being based on a very successful Triple-A video game franchise. Why is that?

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Alexander Vandewalle

Alexander Vandewalle

Screenanigans is a blog that aims at a casual talk about film and television, just for fun! It was founded in 2016 by Alexander Vandewalle in the belief that the often made distinction between 'high culture' and 'low culture' is unnecessary and basically useless. Screenanigans therefore tries to combine the two. Pay us a visit at screenanigans.wordpress.com!

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