The highly successful video game series has come to the big screen for the Christmas season. To the chagrin of the fanboys and fangirls, this is not a sword-and-sandals epic, despite being written by the team that created the unapologetically goyish retelling of the tale, Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014). That accounts for the fairly low review scores which tend to be in the range of 3-4 out of 10.
I recently had a two-an-a-half-hour conversation with Henrik Palmgren at Red Ice Radio about the historical basis for this story, “The Truth Behind Assassin’s Creed and Templar Plots.” The first half is available for free, while the second half is available only to members. Once you have hit your donation goals to Counter-Currents, I highly recommend that you become a member of Red Ice Radio. They are good friends of ours. On the same page as the free hour, I put together a substantive list that will give you all you need to know about the nuances of Islamic culture and sectarianism as it relates to the issues covered in the film, mostly from Islamic sources.
The Assassin’s Creed series is based on a millennial battle (in both senses of the word) between the Assassins, who believe that human freedom (and by implication, the process of learning through failure) is the only way humanity can rise to the challenges that lie ahead, and the Templars, who believe that curbing free will and promoting order are the only ways for the human species to survive future calamities. A kind of metagenetics is assumed in this universe, and an Animus machine allows an individual to relive their ancestral memories. The Templars use this technology to understand the successes of their enemies and to locate artifacts which were hidden by the Assassins, who got the better of them hundreds of years before.
In the film, the adventures of the Assassins during the Spanish Reconquista comprise only three of the past-life flashbacks, thanks to the Animus machine. Unlike in the games, where the present is nothing more than a simple frame for the story, the fulcrum of the film’s plot is the present-day effort of the Templars to finally realize their ambitions and complete their Great Work. This is mainly an action/adventure story in which the top-flight cast was limited in their ability to give depth to their characters, and indeed, there was barely enough plot even to hang the action on. It was an entertaining way to spend some leisure time over the Christmas break, but I am definitely not a good judge of this genre.
What interests me most are the political and social implications of the film. I always expect the worst from Hollywood, especially when it comes to controversial events in Catholic history. The Assassin’s Creed game series has been accused of suffering from SJW infiltration, considering that the good guys are Muslims oriented to the East and the bad guys are Christians oriented towards the West. More recently, one of the games, which is set during the English Industrial Revolution, features Karl Marx as a helpful sidekick.
Still, I was pleasantly surprised. If anything, this film was not a critique of Western civilization, but rather of the globalist cabal seeking to subvert our civilization. The international headquarters of the Templar Order, from which they plot the subjugation of the world’s peoples, is the Freemasonic United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). The Grand Master of the Order is played by Charlotte Rampling, a 70-year-old woman with blue eyes and short, blonde hair. Keeping in mind that the director (like the rest of the American elite) probably assumed that Hillary Clinton would be President-elect by the time this film was released, that is definitely an interesting casting choice.
Jeremy Irons plays a senior Templar who likewise has role in the profane world of enough significance that he is allowed to address the United Nations concerning his project to “end all violence.” This is to be achieved by genetically engineering free will out of all future human beings. His daughter plays a scientist who uses the Animus, and a score of descendants of the Assassins as test subjects, to find the ancient artifacts that they believe hold the keys to this discovery. In one of the most realistic plot twists in a film of this kind, Charlotte Rampling informs Irons that his daughter’s project will be cancelled because three billion dollars can be better spent elsewhere, and because “people don’t care about civil liberties anymore. All that matters is quality of life . . . We don’t even need [those artifacts containing the DNA sequences of free will] anymore.”
The Assassins are also far from an SJW’s dream team. I was impressed at the number of subtitles the director expected his action fans to read during the flashbacks, which were in Spanish. Somehow, these defenders of Muslim Andalucía were also speaking Spanish to each other and have phenotypes that are unmistakably European. The deposed Sultan was presented as a physical and moral weakling compared to the conquering Christians and the Order of Assassins.
There is actually nothing Muslim at all about the Assassins, and there isn’t much that is Catholic about their conquerors. They have replaced the Shahada with an extended version of their Nietzschean credo from the game series: “Nothing is true; everything is permitted.” The closest the film gets to anti-Catholic bias is during an execution scene, which has the look of a Hieronymus Bosch painting and features some grotesque and nonexistent clerical vestments. The executioners look like extras from the Golan-Globus Beastmaster series, and the female nobility have facial tattoos. Frankly, I can’t imagine that even the most immature or historically ignorant viewer would leave the cinema knowing anything more about Islam or Catholicism than they had two hours before.
One might expect a Hollywood film that involves a combined Reconquista and Inquisition to include a great deal of handwringing over the treatment of Jews at that time. The only character with a clear Jewish phenotype is the potbellied Captain of the Guard at the prison-cum-laboratory in the present time, played by Denis Ménochet. The only other hooked nose in the film is sported by Torquemada himself, played by Javier Gutiérrez.
Aesthetically speaking, the film was filled with graceful swordplay and rooftop chase scenes that will be familiar to fans of the game. I am a firm believer in the Riefenstahl aesthetic of highlighting Strength and Beauty, which was on display and well done here, though I was annoyed that the female Assassin was consistently hidden behind layers of Assassin gear (I guess I have been watching too many HBO dramas lately).
The ending sequence has some requisite diversity, but it is entirely superficial. Also, the director has managed to avoid falling into the Magic Negro trope, even though he cast the actor who played Omar in The Wire (one of the best Magic Negros ever).
I am not an avid cinema goer, but I will create my own politically-motivated rating system:
1 is the rating reserved for pure, unadulterated doses of Jewish propaganda, such as is found in films like The Liberators (1992) or A Stranger Among Us (1992). This is the Hollywood equivalent of Everclear.
3 includes films that are made by writers, directors, and producers who are so single-mindedly focused on their own interests that they fail to even notice the political and cultural struggles around them. This is usually limited to genre films and B-movies.
5 is for the motion picture equivalent of Wagnerian opera. It must convey truth, a compelling story, and of course must celebrate Strength, Beauty, and Will. Obviously, Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia (1936) and Triumph of the Will (1935) deserve this top mark. I don’t have the temerity to put anybody else in the same class as her.
Using this scale, where does Assassin’s Creed fall? This is a genre film and is not conducive to thinking, even of the subconscious kind, so let’s not overanalyze this. I am sure that some young white kids watching this PG-13 film will be inspired to get in shape by the badass Michael Fassbender’s killer abs and awesome stunts. This film will reinforce whatever they heard about the New World Order being bad news for them doing whatever they want when they grow up. They will also learn that Muslims are paper tigers, fat guys with greasy black stubble and hooked noses who have no ethical standards and who will get their asses kicked in the end. Even more importantly, it demonstrates that there are things in life worth killing and dying for, and that is something that good-looking white people do when they team up with other good-looking white people.
Therefore I give Assassin’s Creed a 3.5.