Faithful film adaptations of video games are almost impossible to create. Due to the overwhelming amount of backstory, visual motifs, and specific pieces of gameplay that exist, it can be overwhelming for someone to truncate all the necessary material into less than two hours. The Assassin's Creed movie does its best to take some of the most important elements of the game and give them the rich, cinematic treatment that they deserve. The series for which the film is based on has such an involved backstory that spans multiple lifetimes, and features an array of dizzying visual fundamentals that the act of picking through the Assassin’s Creed world and rulebook seems like a fool’s errand, but director Justin Kurzel, screenwriters Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper, and Bill Collage, and star Michael Fassbender were able to create something that does its best to satisfy fans of the game, as well as creates a new visual language for the series.
Even if you haven’t played every game in the Assassin’s Creed series, you’re aware of the gameplay, or at least the distinct visual style of the game, and those are vastly important elements that have to be translated to the screen in order to please hardcore fans of the series. Did the film succeed in taking the Creed to the cinema? Or will they have to go back to their last successful memory and start again? To find out how well Fassbender and Co. did at translating the game to the big screen, keep reading to find out what Assassin's Creed gets right.
Most of the film is spent in a super high tech prison/research facility owned by Abstergo Industries, a front for the modern-day Knights Templar. The look of the facility almost perfectly mirrors that of what you see of their lair in the original game, and there are some genuinely stunning visuals in a few of the rooms designed specifically for the movie. Keep an eye out for what can only be described as the "bird ceiling."
The Leap of Faith
One of the main stunts in the game is the "Leap of Faith," a jump or fall made from the top of a building, or a pirate ship, or wherever. The film doesn't really build up the leap in any significant way beyond showing Michael Fassbender thinking about jumping off of a few things, but when it happens, it's pretty cool. The actual stunt was performed by Damien Walters, Fassbender's double. He made a 125-foot freefall that was one of the highest freefalls performed by a stuntman in over three decades.
Execution in the Center of Town
The opening cutscene from the first game shows a hanging taking place in the center of the town as an assassin goes about his secretive business. It seems like the film took most of its visual cues from this minute-and-a-half of non-gameplay, and one of the most thrilling scenes of the movie features a triple execution that takes the game's visuals and throws the audience inside of them.
Amongst Our Weaponry Are
With so many games under the Assassin's Creed umbrella, it's not possible to make pointed references to every game in the series, but towards the end of the film, there's a scene where the audience is treated to some visuals of the weapons that have been featured in the game beyond the traditional wrist blades. To just name a few, you catch a glimpse of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's sword, Kenway's flintlock pistols, and Jacob Frye's cane sword.