We Need To Talk About That Animus: Breaking Down The ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Trailer

If there’s one thing that causes contention in pop culture it’s video game movie adaptations, largely because they’re usually pretty terrible. Especially when it comes to adaptations of popular games rooted in years of carefully crafted narrative, blending together ancient history and modern day politics with memorable and well loved characters (until they get tragically killed off, that is).So, can Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed break the video game movie curse? It’s a little too early to tell. But the first trailer just dropped, so check it out below and see for yourself.It’s pretty much a trailer featuring live-action gameplay and little clues about what the plot will actually be. What did you think, yay or nay? Tell us in the comments below, and read on for our breakdown.Shia Surprise! You’re Dead.

Death row inmate Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) awakens in a Spanish Abstergo facility to find Sofia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) staring creepily at him. Apparently, she’s conducting experiments to identify the root of violence in humanity, and Lynch has just become her next experiment. How this ties into the larger Templar plot that we know will be there because, c’mon, it’s an Assassin’s Creed movie, is yet to be clarified though. Watch your back, Lynch.The Abstergo Facility

Lynch, alongside 30 to 40 other patients, is being kept in one of Abstergo’s many facilities, hidden within an ancient Spanish church. We see a few shots of Lynch exploring the strange facility that blends sterile tech with an almost jungle like environment, and our first look at the live-action Abstergo logo, shiny.Never Trust A Templar

Fulfilling the function of Lucy Stillman and Dr. Warren Vidic from the original Assassin’s Creed game is Sofia Rikkin and her father, Alan Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), who oversee the facility. It looks like Sofia is the “face” of the operation, so we didn’t see a whole lot of Alan, apart from the above shot of him standing around ominously while Lynch is put into the Animus.Hidden Blades!

Okay, these look pretty cool, and that’s no CGI. The weapons team worked tirelessly to produce functional hidden blades — the primary weapon of the Assassin Order. All in all they produced 3,000 prop weapons — which is no mean feat — many of them taken straight from the games, so keep an eye out for those Easter Eggs.But, why is Lynch being fitted with the blades before he goes into the Animus? Seems like a bit of a dangerous oversight, as you can bet he’ll be putting those blades through his captors at some point.
We Need To Talk About That Animus

If you’re familiar with the video games, this is a very strange take on the traditional Animus, which usually involves a lot of lying around. According to Collider, the filmmakers decided to make the Animus interface more interactive and dynamic for the actors, rather than having Fassbender spend half the movie sitting around in a high tech deckchair. Apparently, Ubisoft liked the change so much that they may include the new design in future games. We’re yet to be sold on it though.Looking The Part

We get our first look at Fassbender in action as Aguilar — Callum Lynch’s Spanish Inquisition-era ancestor. He certainly looks the part.

And check out the fight scenes! The fluidity of the choreography and the use of weaponry certainly recalls the aesthetic of the games, that and the dry and dusty landscapes that were designed to differentiate between the past and the present.Ave Maria

Say hello to Ariane Labed’s Maria — a Master Assassin and companion of Callum Lynch in 15th century Spain. Look at that little smile on her face after she Hidden Blades the snot out of those guys, she loves her job.The Past Bleeds Through

Maybe the best part of the trailer was the montage of scenes that compares 15th century Aguilar to the modern-day Callum Lynch. It’s the Bleeding Effect from the video games — in which the modern-day protagonist subconsciously learns to mimic the moves of their ancestor through extended use of the Animus — in action. And according to Collider, Eagle Vision will also play a big part in the movie.Run Aguilar, Run!

And of course free running and parkour took up a huge amount of the trailer, as it’s perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the games (apart from air assassinating unsuspecting victims, of course).Fassbender’s stunt double for these sequences is British free-runner Damien Walters, and there’s an impressive team of parkour artists appearing in the movie, with little visual effects and an emphasis on parkour-intensive stunts.’We Work In The Dark To Serve The Light’

Again, if you’ve played the games, you might think that this was perhaps an odd part of the Creed to have Lynch/Aguilar speak. The full Creed of the Assassin Order reads as such:

The wisdom of our Creed is revealed through these words. We work in the dark to serve the light. We are Assassins. Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

The iconic line — “Nothing is true, everything is permitted” — is most commonly used when quoting the Creed in the games, but here they’ve switched it up. Probably because newcomers to the franchise might be a little confused by the meaning behind these words, something that is integral to the game narrative.Show Your Faith

And finally, we see Aguilar taking the iconic leap of faith from atop a church tower. Unfortunately, it seems that we won’t be seeing Fassbender jumping into any conveniently placed wheel-barrels of hay, which just seems like a huge wasted opportunity.What was your favorite part of the Assassin’s Creed trailer? Tell us in the comments below!Source: Collider