In a just world, the late-December movie starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling and Brendan Gleeson would be a lush historical epic or period drama. But since the world is garbage, it’s another turgid, useless video-game adaptation. A murderer named Lynch (Fassbender) learns he’s descended from a group of 15th-century Spanish assassins who pledged to protect a sacred artifact from the Knights Templar, who would use it to destroy man’s free will. The modern Templars (Cotillard and Irons) use science and magic to make Lynch relive his ancestor’s life and find the dingus, leading to many scenes of battle and bloodshed (and, for some reason, parkour) in Inquisition-era Spain. There are recognizable human emotions and motivations buried under the layers of humorless exposition and tedious bloodletting, but director Justin Kurzel is about as interested in them as Jeremy Irons is in being in the film. Extraneous elements like “story” and “character” are abandoned so we can focus on what’s important: scene after scene of self-serious cyphers fighting over something we don’t care about. I smell something, but it’s not an Oscar.
Director: Justin Kurzel
Producer: Jean-Julien Baronnet, Gérard Guillemot, Frank Marshall, Patrick Crowley, Michael Fassbender, Conor McCaughan, Arnon Milchan, Markus Barmettler, Christine Burgess-Quémard, Jean de Rivières, Serge Hascoët and Philip Lee
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Williams, Denis Menochet, Ariane Labed, Khalid Abdalla, Essie Davis, Matias Varela, Callum Turner, Carlos Bardem, Javier Gutiérrez, Hovik Keuchkerian, Crystal Clarke, Michelle Lin, Brian Gleeson, Julio Jordan, Rufus Wright and Angus Brown