Movie Assassin's Creed (2016)

20170419:
As with any video game to movie adaptation (e.g., Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)), Assassin's Creed (the movie) only makes references to its source material's gameplay in a handful of places and instead needs to focus on the plot. However, this transition can sometimes feel unsatisfying, as the gameplay mechanics are often what drives the entertainment value of the game, and their reduction to a fraction of the movie results in an underwhelming experience.

Suppose for a moment that the movie adaptation of a video game was nearly equivalent to just the cutscenes of the same video game. What portion of video gamers would be satisfied with just watching the cutscenes? I'm not sure, but I do know there is an audience for it, because there exists YouTube videos which simply compile all the cutscenes from a video game. However, I would also cite the twitch.tv community which is contains a large audience that enjoys watching other people playing video games. Unfortunately, the evidence I can conjure for either side is too broad to be helpful, but my intuition remains that movie adaptations of a video game can often remove an essential piece of the entertainment.

Note, however, that the movie's story is original and distinct from any of the currently released games.

With respect to plot, I was confused about the other prisoners. That was perhaps the most disappointing part of my viewing experience.

On a different ntoe, I would commend the choice to portray the Animus, a machine that allows a person to experience their genetic memory, as one that requires a physical simulation in addition to a mental simulation (in the video game, the user simply sits in a chair and is plugged into the Animus, an experience not unlike plugging into The Matrix). This choice is more action-oriented and works especially great from a visual point of view.

At the end of the day, I had fun watching the movie, but mainly because I had previously played some of the game. Even so, the movie had room for improvement and fails to surpass the typical film adaption of a video game. Off the top of my head, a successful adaptation is the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), followed by Mortal Kombat (1995).* Actually, Resident Evil (2002) would be my personal favorite.** At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2011).***

*Apparently the film's sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) is among the worst.
**I've only seen the first sequel, but it's on my to-do list to watch the entire series.
***I've read that the first two films were just as bad as this third one.

[20171113 Edit]

Instant Comments:
Credits:
Slackline performers.

Watched 20170419 (in-flight entertainment)
Assassin's Creed (2016) Justin Kurzel. 115 min

Relevant Links:
Assassin's Creed (IMDb.com)
Assassin's Creed (RottenTomatoes.com)
Assassin's Creed (film) (Wikipedia.org)

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