I wasn't really planning to see Assassin's Creed. While I am a fan of action movies, I've never played any of the Assassin's Creed games, and the trailer wasn't impressive. Thanks to the generosity of some friends, though, I did see it, so you get this summary of how I feel about this movie:
You know how there are cheap/bootleg DVDs out there with English subtitles done by people who don't really know English very well? For example, some friends had a copy of an anime called Ayashi no Ceres with these sorts of subtitles. There's a scene where a character falls screaming off a bridge, which was subtitled "Disguusttiing!!"
The dialogue in this movie is like someone took an English script, had one of those guys translate it, then another one translate it back, and shot that.
Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Irons are all fine actors, and they performed their lines with great feeling and gravity - but much of it is nonsense. This isn't even counting the parts that were supposed to be nonsense - don't get me started on genetic memory. No, even if you swallow the ludicrous premise (helpfully laid out in the trailer), the plot makes little to no sense.
Now, it's an action movie. There are a lot of very good, or at least fun, action movies without much in the way of plot or dialogue. This isn't one of those. The action sequences can best be described as okay. They're not bad, but they're very much not good either. They are not improved by shaky-cam and a lot of murky lighting.
On top of all this, the cinematography is atrocious. The director makes extensive use of long soaring aerial shots, which I understand is meant to evoke the eagle which is associated with the assassins. This sort of thing can be done well. Here, though, these shots aren't grand and sweeping so much as pointless wastes of time. If they'd used half as many, I'd have gotten ten minutes of my life back.
So, it has a terrible script, a bad plot, and okay action. The acting is fine, but... I can't help but think that Marion Cotillard spent much of her time on set wondering how an Oscar-winning actress ended up in this piece of crap.
Bechdel: Fail (C)
Mako Mori: Pass
What are these?