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The Films of Justin Kurzel

The Snowtown Murders

Macbeth

Assassin's Creed (December 23/16)

Based on a popular videogame series, Assassin's Creed follows career criminal Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) as he's enlisted into a mysterious, secretive society of international assassins - with the movie detailing Cal's experiences training for his new life as he relives the memories of an ancient ancestor. Though it opens with a fair degree of promise, Assassin's Creed ultimately comes off as one of the worst and most joyless videogame adaptations ever made - as filmmaker Justin Kurzel employs an excessively deliberate pace that's compounded by an often ludicrously convoluted screenplay and a total absence of compelling characters and interludes. Fassbender's charisma-free turn as the one-dimensional protagonist is the least of the movie's problems, as the actor has been surrounded by a raft of familiar faces who are uniformly unable to breathe life into their similarly underdeveloped figures - with Kurzel's astonishing mishandling of the movie's many dimly-lit and needlessly grimy action sequences certainly not helping matters, either. Scripters Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper, and Bill Collage deliver a narrative that's overflowing with mind-numbing instances of tedious exposition, and there naturally reaches a point at which the neverending stream of references to genetic codes and blood feuds becomes impossible to stomach (ie who cares?) The hopelessly ineffective origin-story vibe ensures that Assassin's Creed should've been shrunk down to a five-minute prologue to an entirely different film, which ultimately secures its place as a pointless endeavor that is, on pretty much every level, a complete and total failure.

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© David Nusair