So the first trailer for Assassin’s Creed dropped this morning courtesy of 20th Century Fox. Being based on a video game, it’s a film many of us (myself included) have been cautious about; only with Michael Fassbender in the lead and Justin Kurzel behind the lens (re-teaming off the set of Macbeth), it’s been caution tinged with optimism. To somewhat collective surprise, the trailer appears to promise that that caution needn’t be there.
Here it is:
Visually, it looks perfect, capturing the look and feel of the games exactly – even the tracking shot of a soaring eagle looks like it’s been lifted straight out of the game. Hardly a surprise, of course, given Kurzel’s one of the most visually-attuned directors out there. It could probably do without that Kanye soundtrack, but unlike the vast majority of trailers nowadays, it looks really exciting despite giving so little away, and I’m excited.
Yet there’s still that air of reticence, that lingering doubt, thanks to years of Hollywood just getting it wrong. For some reason it’s proven to be an impossible task to produce even a remotely decent movie based on a video game – Resident Evil could arguably be the one exception – but everything else has been either disappointing or bloody terrible. Max Payne? Hitman? Doom? Dungeon Siege? Dreadful, every one of them, despite good games that really should have lent themselves to cinematic backdrops (okay, Doom is kind of enjoyably terrible, but that doesn’t really help).
Something needs to buck the trend, and until recently I thought it was going to be Warcraft, but even that looks pretty darn generic. It looks like another case of the Hollywood system interfering with a creative approach; like they don’t really care what’s in the film because they’re satisfied that the title alone will sell tickets. Judgement shall of course be reserved until I see the full film, but Duncan Jones ought to be doing more after the genius of Moon and Source Code.
So it looks like it’s up to Assassin’s Creed. What do you think, are we actually going to get a really good video game movie, or is this all just another set-up for some cruel fall?