Assassin’s Creed Ultra HD Blu-ray review

This big-budget movie adaptation of the hit videogame offers little joy for joystick junkies

While Hollywood doesn’t have a great record of making films based on videogames, we approached Assassin’s Creed with optimism, as the games have a clever core concept, evocative storylines and consistently cinematic graphics. Sadly, though, the script here hurtles along too fast and too blandly to develop characters, story, concept or frankly anything to any meaningful degree. Style is mistaken for substance, and there’s none of the balance between mystery, exploration, combat and tension that makes the games work. Nice production design, though.

Picture: The UHD BD’s transfer is a bit of a mish mash, despite apparently being derived from a genuine 4K digital master. It's at its best in resolution terms with sequences in the stylishly-lit offices of the modern-day Templar building, delivering pristine levels of detail that go comfortably beyond those of the standard Blu-ray. Yet most other scenes look much less crisp, particularly during the genetic memory playback sequences that form the film’s action backbone. These scenes also sometimes suffer with noise.

This striking sharpness inconsistency is likely down to the use of 2K effects, the extreme use of swooping cameras and swirling smoke and dust clouds, and the varying grade of cameras used in production.

The disc's high dynamic range is more rewarding. Almost every shot appears punchier and more dynamic than on the normal Blu-ray. Dark scenes have a much wider contrast range. Colours are more saturated, too, especially yellow tones.
Picture rating: 3.5/5

Audio: The film’s Atmos soundmix (exclusive to the UHD BD) is excellent (and loud). It works harder than most to keep you immersed in a full sonic environment, with rear and height channels used extensively for both ambient and directional effects. The scale of the soundstage sometimes feels almost too impressive for the turgid onscreen action.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: All extras are found on the 1080p disc, and include a 41-minute Making of...; the 20-minute Conversations with Justin Kurzel where the director covers editing, special effects and more; deleted scenes; a photo gallery; and trailers. Not bad.
Extras rating: 3.5/5

We say: A disappointingly patchy 4K presentation of yet another lame videogame/movie conversion.

Assassin’s Creed, 20th Century Fox, Ultra HD Blu-ray & Region A/B BD, £34 Approx