Talk About Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard

For years we’ve heard moans that video-game movies are jinxed. Unfortunately, “Assassin’s Creed” won’t lift that curse. Not even with stars like Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, and the game’s creator, Ubisoft, as a producer.

If you’re unfamiliar with the game, you may be confused by what’s going on and why anyone would even bother playing it. If you have played, you’ll wonder how the moviemakers could mess things up so badly and squander the game’s rich tapestry of stories.

Following an introduction to an ancient order of Templars, the film leaps to current day, where Callum Lynch is serving time in jail. In his youth Cal saw his mother being murdered by his father, leading him into his own life of crime. Cal is released from prison to Abstergo, a tech company that plans to use him and his family bloodline of assassins to find the elusive “Apple of Eden” that has priceless info at its core.

To do this, Cal employs a device called the Animus, which accesses ancestral memories that date to the 15th century. The gizmo is straight from the game, but it has morphed from a simple transportational pod into gigantic mechanical arm connected to Cal’s body. It’s unwieldy for him — and us.

Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel’s direction is all about visuals, not coherence, just as it was in his adaptation of “Macbeth” with Fassbender and Cotillard. “Assassin’s Creed” works best during the action scenes set in the distant past. But the present — along with Cal and that massive appendage and too many windy conversations — keeps elbowing its way back in.