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Assassin's Creed (3D/2D)


Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Brendan Gleeson, Michael K Williams, Essie Davis, Ariane Labed

Director: Justin Kurzel

The most arrant nonsense, but made on a huge budget and with major stars. It seems that for centuries those perennial movie villains the Knights Templar have been hunting the 'mythical' Apple of Eden, which contains the seeds of man's first disobedience. Assassins stand in their way. Explains their mystic leader: 'We work in the dark to serve the light'.

Though the story begins in 1492 (something familiar about that date), we soon jump to 1986, where young Cal comes upon his mother, who has been killed by his father, just before being forced to flee by Templar forces.

Thirty years later, Cal (now Fassbender) is executed for murder, but brought back to life and transferred to a state-of-the-art facility, where he encounters Dr Sofia Rikkin (Cotillard) and her father (Irons), who oversee a project which finds Cal attached to an 'animus', a swivelly arm that transports him back more than 500 years.

Seems like he's one of the last present-day descendants of the old company of Assassins, and the scientists, also in search of Eden's Apple, hope his mental encounters with the past will lead them to its whereabouts.

Cal finds his own father (Gleeson) is an inmate at the facility, and a very grumpy one too. 'The Apple,' he warns his son, 'contains the genetic code of free will; they will use it to destroy us'.

But enough of this totally ridiculous plot. Naturally there are lots of frenziedly edited chases and fights, as befits the film's video-game origins, mostly photographed in blurred shades of brown. The film's dingy look, however, does not work to its advantage, though the actors gallantly keep straight faces throughout.

David Quinlan

USA/Spain/France/UK/Hong Kong 2016. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by Company 3.
115 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Dec 2016