A scene from "Assassin's Creed".
Nine years after Ubisoft debuted their first "Assassin's Creed" video game in 2007 where it subsequently spawned a number of sequels with varying degrees of success, we finally receive the eagerly-awaited big screen treatment with Michael Fassbender leading the role alongside acclaimed filmmaker Justin Kurzel of last year's "Macbeth" in charge of the direction.
1. Real stunts
Without further ado, here are the 5 reasons why you should get excited for the upcoming videogame movie blockbuster this December.
One of the parkour stunts performed on camera in "Assassin's Creed".
Have you seen all the spectacular jumps and incredible parkour moments featured in the clips and trailers so far? Well, here's the good news: Justin Kurzel insisted on capturing the death-defying stunts as practical as possible. That means you can expect the action in "Assassin's Creed" to be as grounded and old-school as it gets. For instance, there is a clip where stuntman Damien Walters doubled for Michael Fassbender's Aguilar de Nerha character to perform the iconic "leap of faith" jump during one of the movie's major highlights. What's more, the particular "leap of faith" jump has become one of the highest free falls ever performed in almost 35 years. Watch the clip below:
2. Stellar cast
Michael Fassbender as Cal Lynch/Aguilar in "Assassin's Creed".
With a top-notch cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons, it's almost as if the big screen videogame adaptation of "Assassin's Creed" looks like a big-budget prestige picture. For Michael Fassbender, the two-time Oscar nominee of 2013's "12 Years A Slave" and 2015's "Steve Jobs", is no doubt one of the best actors working in Hollywood today. Although Fassbender is hardly known for an action-heavy performance, he has been working hard to get into shape and even performed some of his own physical stunts himself. After all, given the fact this movie is Fassbender's passion project, no wonder he truly committed to his Assassin role as Aguilar de Nerha.
Marion Cotillard as Sofia in "Assassin's Creed".
Next on the list is Marion Cotillard, in which many audiences would recognise from Christopher Nolan's "Inception" and "The Dark Knight Rises". Cotillard, is of course, the first French actress to win the prestigious Best Actress Oscar for her role as the legendary French singer Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose" (2007).
Jeremy Irons as Rikkin in "Assassin's Creed".
Finally, there is Jeremy Irons. The veteran British actor, who won a Best Actor Oscar for "Reversal Of Fortune (1990), has appeared in a number of memorable roles throughout his illustrious career such as Alfred in this year's "Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice" and Simon Gruber in "Die Hard: With A Vengeance" (1995).
3. Director Justin Kurzel
Director Justin Kurzel (right) alongside Marion Cotillard on set".
Justin who, you say? While it's understandable that his name is far from an established director in the eyes of (many) mainstream audiences, the 42-year-old Australian director is actually an acclaimed filmmaker in his own right. If you are a fan of Australian cinema, you might come across the award-winning crime drama "Snowtown" back in 2011. Then came his blood-soaked arthouse version of the Shakespearean historical drama of "Macbeth" in 2015, which won tons of accolades and even secured a prestigious nomination for Palme d'Or at the last year's Cannes Film Festival. With Kurzel making his quantum leap to his first big-budget studio effort in "Assassin's Creed", there's a high chance that he can elevate the videogame movie blockbuster with his unique artistic vision.
4. It is one of the most highly-anticipated blockbusters in December.
One of the fight scenes in "Assassin's Creed".
Every December, many high-profile Hollywood blockbusters are battling against each other to reign supreme at the box office. Besides, it is a holiday season where audiences both young and old would turn out in droves to see their favourite blockbuster. This year is no different, with big-ticket movies such as "Rogue One" and "Passengers". The other one, of course, is "Assassin's Creed" where Ubisoft has invested a lot to bring their popular video game to the big screen. Reportedly costing nearly US$200 million to make, Ubisoft is already looking to build a movie franchise similar to their popular video game series. If that's not enough, the recent Premiere interview with Justin Kurzel has even stated his plan to make a sequel probably set in 1950s America if the first "Assassin's Creed" is able to make decent money at the box office.
5. It knows how to draw inspiration from great movies.
Michael Fassbender in "Assassin's Creed".
Now, you might be wondering what "great movies" that "Assassin's Creed" chose to be inspired from? According to the CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures Jean-Julien Baronnet late last year with Premiere, the movie is taking major inspirations from Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi masterpiece "Blade Runner" in terms of its moody visual palette and Christopher Nolan's 2005 acclaimed reboot "Batman Begins" for its narrative arc.
"Assassin's Creed" opens in cinemas nationwide on 22 December 2016.
Cinema Online, 18 December 2016