CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.
Film Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Has Odd Breeding for a Movie
CHICAGO – I’m not a gamer, but of course I’ve heard about “Assassin’s Creed.” The film based on the video game is a wild and undisciplined attempt to expand that particular universe, but does succeed in creating an oddball science fiction that has implications in geo-religious power and control.
It is the combination of game and story that nearly does both sides in, but there is just enough to keep the intrigue intact. The high octane story from director Justin Kurzel – who used lead performers Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in his adaptation of “Macbeth” in 2015 – manages a symbolic story about duality, technology and megalomania, while barely clinging to any of it making sense. There are crazy visuals, overwrought action and knocks on religion aplenty, which sets it apart both as a video game adaptation and creative use of a dystopian prophecy. Part Indiana Jones, part “Fail Safe” and all weird, “Assassin’s Creed” does qualify as a kaleidoscope of craziness.
The film starts with an execution. Convicted felon Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is about to die by lethal injection, but once the sentence is carried out, instead he wakes up in another place. It turns out his DNA is part of a warrior lineage – bound by an “Assassin’s Creed” – which is traced back to 1492 Spain. The institute he is in, run by Alan Rifkin (Jeremy Irons) and his daughter Sophia (Marion Cotillard), is searching for the “Apple of Eden” the key to a person’s free will (the fruit was used to symbolize Adam and Eve’s fall from grace and God).
To get to the Apple, the institute hooks Callum to a bizarre machine, which has him act out his warrior tendencies from the past, as the assassin Aguilar. They closely observe his journey, as the outcome of finding the Apple will rid the world of violence. But Callum is also linked to his present past life, which featured a father (Brendan Gleeson) who murdered his mother. All these conflicts will play into the pursuit of the Apple, and the destiny of humankind.
Michael Fassbender as Aguilar in ‘Assassin’s Creed’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox