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The New Trailer for the 'Assassin’s Creed' Movie Is Surprisingly Not Terrible

Michael Fassbender! The Spanish Inquisition! A kick-ass female assassin!

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There's never been a great game-to-movie adaptation. I hear your arguments for Mortal Kombat, the first Resident Evil, and that one with all the jumping about and Jake Gyllenhaal looking way too buff. I hear them, and I ignore them, because you're wrong. Some of these movies have been fun, absolutely; I can successfully sit through Jean-Claude's awful Street Fighter without complete inebriation on my side, or leather restraints. But don't kid yourself: Fun doesn't mean this stuff's getting the Criterion Collection treatment anytime soon.


Watching some films based on games requires a Ludovico approach, or else you'd simply cover over your glass balls as quickly as humanly possible—not that you'd be able to ever unsee the horrors of your average Uwe Boll effort. Want to witness the true birth of cinematic horror? Watch Alone in the Dark with the lights on, sober. But we are absolutely still waiting for the film based on a video game that eclipses, or at least complements the appeal of, its source material. Nobody prefers to watch Lara over being her.

But with Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed in something of a decline—come on now, there's been one highpoint since 2009's Assassin's Creed II, and the pirate adventuring of Black Flag was undermined by developer determination to include so many tedious follow-this-chump missions—the time's never been better for a movie version to inject some vitality into the franchise. And it's coming, this "holiday" season, in place of a new game proper. And here's the world premiere trailer, freshly arrived on the internet.

"Welcome, to the Spanish Inquisition." A good start—the games have never gone there, so immediately we're looking at a story that isn't explicitly tied to one we've already played. We've got a badass female assassin in the mix, because it's a lot easier to film the female form than it is to animate it.

The 15th-century parkour looks perfectly pulsating, a great deal more dramatic than the games' simple cling-to-walls mechanics. Jeremy Irons is Jeremy Irons. And that gigantic mechanical arm that's tossing Mickey Fassbender about? That is awesome. No more lying down on the job for you, Desmond. Sorry, Callum. Omar Little, a.k.a. Michael K. Williams, is in this movie, too, not that we (clearly) see him in the trailer (there's a high-kicking dude kicking ass at the 1:13 mark that could be him).

YouTube's been generally positive about what we see here. Commenters have thrown a few jokes into the mix. "I'll wait til they fix the bugs and glitches before watching this movie." "Do you need a season pass to watch the second half of the movie." That sort of stuff. But beyond that, the sole criticism to be seen repeated is in regard to the trailer's music. "The song just doesn't fit." "Horrible song choice." "Minus the music this trailer could have been fuckin amazing." "Whoever chose the music should be fired." "Too bad they had to mess it up with music from Kanye."

What we've learned, then: Assassin's Creed could be the best game movie when it arrives in cinemas on December 21—not that it has much competition. And Assassin's Creed fans really don't like Kanye West. Which fits, when you think about it—if you've been buying the same fucking game for the best part of a decade, the shock of the new is bound to really shake you up. That, or they don't feel croissants were an integral part of 15th-century life.

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