Moreso than any previous video game subjected to a movie adaptation, Assassin's Creed feels like its concept was tailor-made for the big screen. The premise of diving into ancestral memories stored in DNA is classic Hollywood science, allowing a mash-up of creepy sci-fi and period parkour; it's action-heavy, yet boasts classically striking visuals and a labyrinthian plot one more Da Vinci away from Dan Brown.
The trailers thus far have been very much focused the action side of the equation, using the near future sequences as framing for a Spanish Inquistion-set thrillride. Of course, we know the past only makes up 35 percent of the movie, so there's a lot more than what's been shown. Now a new trailer, the third full one alongside a bunch of TV spots and clips, has expanded on that story, giving a taste of just how much it's lifting from the games. You can watch it above.
We get an establishment of the Templars, an ancient society searching for the Apple of Eden - an artefact that will allow them to rule the world unquestionably - then their quest to find a living descendant of one of its protectors. This leads them to Michael Fassbender's Callum Lynch, who is kidnapped and, under the watch of Marion Cotillard's Dr. Rikkin, forced to relive his Assassin ancestor's life. Cue many of the key beats we saw in the previous trailers and hints of rebellion.
This appears to be a very linear summary of the plot intended to bring the film, which is out in just a couple of weeks, to a more mainstream audience. In addition to the plot expansions, there's also added focus on some of the prestige cast, including supporting roles for Charlotte Rampling as the Templar leader and Brendan Gleeson as a blind Assassin advice figure. This Assassin's Creed trailer also draws attention to the award plaudits of core stars Fassbender, Cotillard and Jeremy Irons.
It's questionable to give such a basic overview of a film so explicitly in a trailer - it's basically a supercut of everything up to the third act - but given how Assassin's Creed is a rather complex sci-fi narrative it's arguably necessary to get everyone on the same page. It also gives fans reassurance that the film will keep close to the core of the franchise, exploring similar ground to the popular early games (rather than the messy narrative of the later games).
Besides all that, it's a very good tease, with the film continuing to look better and better. With a more classical score (as opposed to the Kanye West-fused earlier marketing material), everything feels more authentic. The efforts of director Justin Kurzel (whose Macbeth was a violent beauty that reimagined Shakespeare with brutal accuracy) really shine through here; he's managed to make the different time periods feel distinct, evoking the game's styles without losing personal vision. It may be plot-heavy, but the trailer definitely creates more excitement than it loses.
Source: 20th Century Fox
- Assassin's Creed (2016) release date: Dec 21, 2016