This Movie Has 99 Problems and a Main Character Is One
Film adaptations of video games are nearly impossible to make, with the films that try to take themselves seriously consistently failing to translate what was likeable about the game to the screen (Street Fighter, World of Warcraft), and the films that lean into the inherent silliness of a video game succeeding in their own way, but often being maligned to B-Movie territory (Mortal Kombat 2, the Resident Evil franchise). Often, these films hinge on the performance of their lead actor to guide the rest of the film, but Michael Fassbender seems like he refrained from making any choice other than “look confused” throughout the entirety of the movie. Whether he’s in the past or the present, if he’s fighting or being lowered into a pool of bacta to soothe his wounds, Fassbender seems to be a passenger in the film that he’s meant to be piloting.
His far-away stare gives the film a cold quality that doesn’t quite work in this instance. Fassbender has completely thrown himself into parts that run the gamut from strange to sincere, moody, and violent, but his lack of choices in Assassin’s Creed feels like a man either trying to give a film with a goofy plot a sense of solid footing, or someone who just walked on set before being thrust in front of the camera.