I was already digging the Assassin’s Creed movie portrayal of the Animus machine. Not familiar with the Assassin’s Creed story? It’s a machine that allows a person to access the memories of a distant ancestor. In this case, we are heading back to the Spanish Inquisition to learn more about the “Assassin’s Creed.”

In the games, the Animus was pretty much like the chair from The Matrix. A person reclines back and just sits there as they access their ancestor’s memories. Fine for a video game. Not so fine for a movie where the present/past split is 65%/35%. Director Justin Kurzel needed to make the Animus compelling to watch. And they do just that in the Assassin’s Creed movie.

Instead of lying back in a chair like the games, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is secured to the Animus around the waist and performs every action he’s doing in the past in the present. It also better illustrates how Callum ‘learns’ the moves in the present from the past. It beats twitching eyes and waking up saying ‘I know Kung-Fu.’

I love the glimpses showing a sort of bleed effect by mashing the present with the past. And the parkour and action look top notch.

Can Assassin’s Creed knife the video game movie curse?

The jury is still out on this one. But damn, if it doesn’t look good. I’m a sucker for any movie with a historical slant. Yeah, the present/past split skews a little too much towards present – but the changes to the Animus help make that pill a little easier to swallow.

Just because the present scenes in the Assassin’s Creed games suck doesn’t mean they will in the movie.

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A Closer Look at the Animus in the Assassin’s Creed Movie

Plus, one of these video game movies needs to be a success. There are too many great stories to be brought to the silver screen. Halo movie, anyone? I like superhero movies as much as the next person, but it wouldn’t hurt to have some other movies break up the monotony every now and then.

Rogue One’s shadow

The Death Star won’t be casting a shadow on just Jedha ( the planet from the Rogue One trailers). It’ll more than likely cast a big shadow on Assassin’s Creed’s potential box office haul. Releasing five days after Rogue One just isn’t a good idea. I’ll be seeing both, but damn. A few weeks before or after would have been a better option. Or pull a John Wick and drop it in February.

We’ll see if Assassin’s Creed can leap over the video game movie curse on December 21. I’ll leave you with a stuntman doing the insane Leap of Faith stunt seen at the end of the trailer above.

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