ASSASSIN’S CREED | “We were doing it in old school fashion.” – Michael Fassbender

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"ASSASSIN’S CREED | “We were doing it in old school fashion.” – Michael Fassbender"

The good, the bad, and the indifferent

Well, for starters, other than knowing of it being a game with cool trailers and soundtracks, I was oblivious to everything else. Therefore, I endured and indulged expecting nothing but a deep, dark fantasy. And that’s exactly what it was. Complex narrative towards a unique way of tapping into humanistic pasts for the greater good sounds great on paper. However, when touched upon… Jesus H. Christ of Latter Day Saints what a tangled web we weave.

Completely rewritten for the silver screen, the ASSASSIN’S CREED realm remains. Through revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Quickly, Callum discovers he’s descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses uncontrollable and incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day. 

L to R – Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender star in ASSASSIN’S REED. | © 20th Century Fox 2016

How the gaming community will take this is one thing. However, me? Well, lets just say I was really drawn into this entire world. Riddled with fantastic twists, exhilarating action sequences, and Michael Fassbender, I don’t think this franchise could have asked for anything more. The build-up is fantastic and the pay-off was worth it.  

The whole concept of the story (which I will not give away) was quite immersive and interesting. What detailed it as well in terms of memory being genetically linked through specific brain functions, feeling and living your ancestry, etc. – all touching and thought-provoking. The religious tone used as a concept of manipulating mankind riled me up. Being an Atheist, there wasn’t a sentimental, spiritual value. But on a personal note of stripping individuality for actions of controlling did. Many questions did arise, but I had to take a few steps back. It’s a film!

I would have LOVED to have seen more story among the other Assassins, but I’m guessing if this film does well (granted nerds and geeks accept it), we may soon enough. A standout (for me) was Moussa, played by Michael K. Williams. Although minimal, leaves a questionable mark. Overall, it’s a thrill-ride that runs parallel between the Spanish Inquisition and contemporary times.   

During the film’s roundtable interviews (Monday, 12.12), a group of us had a chance to speak to the film’s leads (Fassbender and Marion Cotillard [who plays Sopfia]) and director Justin Kurzel. As a few us got into the building blocks of this production, Fassbener shared a few words that helped piece my puzzle of curiosity. (Full, uncut interview below)

ASSASSIN’S CREED | © 20th Century Fox 2016

Much like myself, “I didn’t know anything about it,” says Fassbender. During a lunch meeting where he was introduced to the world of Assassin’s Creed, he was hooked. The divide and confrontation between two types really drew his interest upon the overall scope of the story. On one hand, “The Templars were the elite, powerful, wealthy who run the world. They believed in science and order. They believed people should be enslaved. On the flip side, you have the Assassins. Their ethos was free will should exist for humankind as equals. And they will do what they can to protect that.”

As the link between past and present is presented, “Within this scientific world we have this scientific thesis which is based on reality.”

The action in this movie is quite interesting in the fact that it doesn’t necessarily outdo action-based/Sci-Fi’s of the past, but it’s unique. My curiosity about how much of the stunts where him versus professional stuntmen piqued, and the results were quite interesting to hear. “We wanted to do as much of it as possible. When shooting, we were on real locations with real people. It wasn’t going to be on a green screen with generated characters. We were doing it for real in old school fashion. Therefore, we needed to do as much of it as we could. I would say 95% of the fights we did ourselves. In terms of the jumps, obviously, we didn’t do the Leap-of-Faith. The 120ft. drop, or jumping from building to building we left that in the stunt personnel’s hands.”

Michael Fassbender stars as Aguilar/Callum in ASSASSIN’S CREED. | © 20th Century Fox 2016

His next answer blew me away, “I did some parkour training.”  Really, bro? Michael Fassbander doing Parkour? That’s something out of the ordinary. “Obviously physical conditioning and fight choreography.”

This film as a whole takes one’s imagination hostage and really does a good job on building interest within a game that’s been out for God knows how long, and on my end (for example) it took Hollywood making a film about it for me to pay attention. Again, I’m sure there will be some tug-of-war about this title among hardcore fans, but in the end what matters is how this franchise manipulates your mind. It deserves a chance and hopefully, another sees the light of day.

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