Now that the larger population of the movie watching community is comprised of gamers between the ages of ADD laden Twilight adorers and politics stammering business slaves, the trending heel has turned its focus on video game to movie adaptations. Among the recently announced films of the gaming ilk is Assassin’s Creed, the first of half a dozen titles in Ubisoft’s hit game series to feature their amazing history hopping story universe.
The game story for Assassin’s Creed centers on a formerly trained assassin turned bartender, name Desmond. An affluent corporation, Abstergo Industries, serves a secret society who is familiar with Desmond’s lineage and successfully abducts him with purposes to exploit the memories of his ancestors. Not given any leverage on personal rights, Desmond is forced to participate in their experiments. Using a prototype machine called the Animus, Desmond’s DNA is tapped to reveal the memories of his historical bloodline. Altair--a distant relative of Desmond’s--was an assassin whose life was spared after a fault and is in deep debt of servitude. His path to redemption was an important one that impacted many key figures. Altair’s progression is followed closely with artificially recreated flashbacks, hoping that his experiences will warm the trail to finding the Pieces of Eden, artifacts believed to withhold power for its controller to manipulate mankind’s fate. Meanwhile, the extraction of these ancestral memories is inconsequently causing a bleed-in with Desmond’s psyche; a process that could stem unpredictable results.
Not much is news on the movie version of this story other than Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, X-Men: First Class,) is helmed to play the part of Altair. Despite Desmond’s character being the forefront to the plot, it is Altair who steals the limelight. Many of the important clues that are sought rest in the past with Altair. Fassbender will be the star of the screen, having to leap across rooftops, scale walls, and hide in the shadows—or even hide in plain sight—to carry out his bloody contracts. There is a shallow amusement in the concept of Fassbender transitioning from Prometheus to the likes of an Assassin’s Creed film. Both stories are science fiction tales that try to give indirect explanations for the existence of mankind. Regardless of this similarity, there is no room to debate Fassbender’s adeptness to pull off this role. His blank stares set an ambience that strike with coldness and would appear vapid if attempted by a lesser actor. Altair doesn’t hold the most respectable of professions. He certainly isn’t the kind of guy who gets invited to Christmas parties. However, Altair is a man who is doing bad things for the right reasons. He is an anti-hero of a sort, with a burden to convince his audience that you don’t have to love the way he resolves conflicts but you should respect the reasons that he does it. If Fassbender’s portrayal of David in Prometheus is any indication, he can certainly get you to back him no matter how dastardly his actions.
I am excited to see this adaptation being made, made large in part by Fassbender’s participation in it. Nothing that Fassbender has starred in or co-starred in has been horrible. Certainly, by title and star power alone, the Assassin’s Creed movie is going to be a blockbuster hit. Still, it is premature to judge the successful outcome of Assassin’s Creed as a viable piece of art. For me, that is what is important. I want Assassin’s Creed to be something I can enjoy seeing multiple times. The locales, plot, and mystery is already well in place by the game. It will take a bit of pride and a dash of talent to translate this powerful setup into a theatrical production. Games have yet to make their mark on the film industry in a revolutionary way and the likes of Resident Evil nor Tomb Raider have contributed anything positive on that fact. Assassin’s Creed thus far has the highest potential to change that. It all depends on the overall vision of the producer and director. Will it be edgy like the Dark Knight or turn out as another whimsical turd like the Prince of Persia?