As a huge fan of the game series, I was hoping for an enjoyable adaptation, but they didn’t quite make it. The broad strokes are there, and there’s a few great sequences, but I really can’t stand all the changes they made to the franchise. The cardinal sin of this movie is spending the vast majority of its run-time in the present day, presumably to save money. This series has always been about the past, with the present being a mere framing device. The handful of sequences in 1492 Spain are excellent, and if this had been the entire movie I would have loved it. There’s some really inventive parkour and camera work to be seen, but sadly this is just a small piece of this story. I also didn’t enjoy having to read subtitles for these sequences, but there was so little time and dialogue spent in the past it sadly didn’t have a chance to become a larger issue.
Another problem is our main character (both of them) is a cypher. What motivates him? What’s his back story? Aside from wanting revenge on his father, we aren’t told. And the historical character is given zero development. The villains actually get more arc and motivation than the hero. I’m usually pretty forgiving of plot holes and movie logic, but what kind of bad guys create a prison for their enemies where the guards have no firearms, the prisoners are allowed to conspire with one another and meet the new person who their plot rests on, and steal weapons without supervision? What’s the point of turning the Animus into a big robot arm with holograms?
But the most baffling thing for me is the decision to create new characters, rather than the ones from the games. I just don’t understand why you would tell the same basic story but without any of the original characters. One addition I did like was giving Aguilar a female partner, not that she gets to have any personality or story at all.