Alright, so we’re back to this review of an adaptation of a game I’ve never played, with a fantastic edge given to a piece of the world’s history (changed quite a bit, of course, to allow the fantasy to exist and to make the story interesting). Go read Part 1 to know what happened so far. I just hope I can remember all the names.
Alright, so we’re still in the year… uh… I don’t know. Prince Dastardly, of the royal family of Nasal is on the run with Princess Danika of the Holy City of Alamo, after he has been wrongly accused of killing his adoptive father, King Shaman, with a poison tunic (I still can’t make sense of that). Therefore, his brother, the now King Tut, and his second older brother Gareth, have put a bounty on his head. However, Chancellor Dazeem is actually the one responsible for this murder. The two are captured by Sheik Homer and his men, and after they escape, then make their way to King Shaman’s funeral in the city of Everett, where Dastardly also finds out about his uncle’s machinations involving the magical time-manipulating dagger found earlier. And thus, Dazeem heads out to find a guild of assassins to chase down his nephew and kill him; we also know that Dazeem’s plan involves letting his brother die at a younger age so that he can access the throne in his place. So Danika and Dastardly hurry back to Alamo.
…Wait, I think I got some names wrong. Give me a moment, I’ll rewatch the movie up to now….
(A hour later) Okay, I’m ready. Wow, I got ALL the names wrong in that recap.
|This moment of horror was brought to you by Disney,|
the happiest place of Earth!
At the sanctuary, they find the villagers living nearby have all been killed by the Hassansins. Dastan and his group are attacked by Garsiv’s squad, and Dastan finally manages to explain the situation to his brother, finally getting him back as an ally. As Garsiv is about to call off the attack, the Hassansins come out of the fog and kill him and his squad. This was your friendly reminder that our heroes are now going against threats even greater than the armed forces of Nasaf. Also serves as a reminder that in fiction, if you’ve somehow put on the shoes of a villain, no matter for how long, your redemption will just make you die faster than if you’d stayed a villain. The more you know!
In the ensuing battle,
many of Amar’s men die (while Amar himself hides behind a chicken coop, which
is way too obvious a pun for me to even state). Tamina runs into the sanctuary
to give the dagger back to the Gods, which would also require her sacrifice,
and her unlikely ally Dastan follows, but a Hassansin follows them inside and the Persian prince fights the
guy, while a snake steals the dagger from Tamina and takes it back to the
leader of the assassins. She finds out only after the elite group of killers
has left. After burying his brother, Dastan decides to head back to Alamut.
While Amar’s men are taking all the gold they can find, Amar’s right-hand man
Sosu Ngbaka (the expert knife-thrower, who only speaks when he has something
important to say) manages to convince his boss to help the Persian prince. By
not saying a single word. THAT is some presence, right there.
|Farewell, brother. May a flight of ostrichs squawk thee to thy rest.|
|Oh my God, backflips too? Is there one thing this|
character can't do? Who did they get to teach him
|That bad guy proves to be a problem to a secondary|
hero, Seso (pictured here), who is from an entire tribe of
people who excel at throwing knives. If that isn't a boss,
then I don't know what is.
|"Hey, what's up? How was the weather here in Alamut?"|
|This effect still looks impressive, even with Tus using it.|
This is after Dastan gets back up in reverse and pulls the dagger out.
|Oh great, this movie is turning into a bloodbath. I never|
thought this review would become a collection of
screen captures of corpses.
|"And now I've got sand in my pants! This day just|
keeps getting better and better!"
|This thing looks like an eternal flame. Like another reference|
to religion. Not that I mind... here, it's justified.
|This is all goddamn depressing.|
|"AND NOW I'VE GOT SAND IN MY EARS!|
WORST... DAY... EVER!"
...And next thing he knows, Dastan finds himself back in the conquered Alamut, after the Persian army got in but before they entered the royal castle, near the beginning of the story. Well, that was two or three weeks earlier; not as impressive as traveling many years back, but still impressive nonetheless. So, it’s like a reset button? Advantages of the reset button: Everybody who died in the story is still alive, including King Sharaman, Tamina, Tus, Garsiv, even that guy who was the prince’s best friend, you know, the one nobody cared about. Dastan has the chance to avoid this whole plot. As a bonus, he keeps his character development and his memories of the adventure. Disadvantages: The story we saw technically never happened – or, well, Dastan’s quest now is to make sure it never happens. Since the deaths were negated, the Hassansins are still alive. However, since his travel in time brought him to just after the conquest, most of Alamut’s soldiers are still dead. Sheik Amar will stay a stealing coward hiding from the taxes in his little criminal haven, hosting ostrich races. Oh, and Princess Tamina will still be resentful towards the royal family of Nasaf, never getting the character development she had through this film. Yeah, not the best thing, but I’ll take that over a downer ending any day!
|Farewell, Nizam. As for you, Ben Kingsley, I look forward to|
seeing you soon in Ender's Game.
|"Please keep that edge you had in the original timeline."|
"....................I said nothing. Now if you'll excuse me,
I got sand in my nose."
|Incidentally, this was the second time Jake Gyllenhaal|
was part of time shenanigans. And not the last one, either.
|Also, Molina is a lot of fun as Sheik Amar.|
The relationship between the brothers is believable, and Ben Kingsley is excellent as Nizam (I wouldn’t be surprised if he took the offer just to have fun – and frankly, if the actors are enjoying themselves, it can help a film). Molina as Sheik Amar adds some levity, though while he quickly becomes credible as a begrudging ally pulled in it for the money, he starts off also quite credible as a villain. In fact, the humorous scenes in this movie are pretty good too. So is the action, however silly it may get. In fact, I'd dare say that despite the heavy plot, this movie doesn't take itself all too seriously, so it feels lighter than many adaptations of games into films.
Also, poisoned tunic. Nope, I still can’t figure out how that works.
I guess in the end, it’s just another popcorn film that will not please everyone, but it’s just good enough to be above average when we’re talking about putting a video game world to the big screen. I know it’s not much of a praise, but game-to-film adaptations need to start getting better. And this movie was a step in the right direction. Should you watch it? Um… I’ll leave it to you, really. It’s an interesting watch, but don’t go in expecting high cinema, just something to entertain you for two hours. Now, I heard there were talks to make a sequel for this film; all I can tell Disney is, if you do carry through with this idea, “don’t screw it up”. Try to make that potential sequel even better than the original. Who knows, it could happen. In the meantime, I’ll hope that the Assassin’s Creed movie, coming out soon, will be of similar or even better, quality to this one.
Next Friday… something else, I guess.