Cineastin' With The Tramps: Assassin's Creed Goes Bollywood ...


If you haven't twigged by now, while TATTGOC purports to be an award-winning foodie blog – and has the curry-loving pennants to prove it – over the last three-and-half years it has feature-crept into a fascinating ongoing experiment: trying to create a unified theory of the Tramps' many-if-not-exactly-varied interests. So as well as sizeable amount of chat about curry (with more available in the recent episode of TATTGOC's Keep Calm And Curry On podcast), there are also references to hard rock music, action cinema, comicbooks, mixed martial arts, burritos ... even whisky.

One area that has only been glanced upon so far by your burly hosts is the magical world of videogames. But fear not – that day has arrived along with the belated discovery of the trailer for Velayudham, a Tamil "masala-movie" that combines comedy, action, musical numbers and a lot of cosplaying as the main dude from the best-selling videogame franchise – and TATTGOC favourite – Assassin's Creed ...




(Watch the trailer, and witness the Tramps bicker about it by clicking here:)

Trampy: Hmmm. So that's the trailer, which makes it seem like there really is a lot going on in this movie. Almost looks like there could be an homage to runaway train flick Unstoppable stuffed in there as well. First impressions, The Tramp? What do you think it's about?

The Tramp: Wow. It's clearly a serious attempt at proving Einstein's long overlooked film equation Comedy ÷ Dance x Violence = AWESOME.

Trampy: To take it right back to the start, I have to say that's one of the cutest production company ident sequences I've ever seen. It's like the U certificate version of Terminator 2. I especially liked the fact that the wee kid had "Captain" written on his T-shirt ...

The Tramp: Yeah, major props to the production company for the "Captain" T-shirt on the wee man. I was almost ready to scoff at the CGI effect at the start but then – BAM! – the kid morphs into reality with a massive smile and that outfit. Immediately after that we're into the trailer proper and then the Ubisoft love-in begins ...

Trampy: The glimpses we get of the hero, Vijay, in costume do seem like a pretty loving tribute to Assassin's Creed. Here's what the character looks like usually. (Uh, is this Altair or Ezio?)

Altair. Or perhaps Ezio.
The Tramp: That'll be Ezio. The two characters are pretty similar but the leather cape is a dead give-away. It does seem to be a clear homage to the Assassin's Creed series though, especially the shot of our hero up on the wall ... when the spring-action wrist blades are revealed, there can't really be any doubt can there?

Trampy: They are the signature weapons of the ancient guild of assassins! I'm no expert in copyright law – in fact, we might need to get TATTGOC's legal counsel Rumple Of The Balti involved – but that does indeed look like grounds for a lawsuit. And during one of the dancing sequences, Vijay makes a hand-sign that looks a lot like the AC symbol. But in case anyone doesn't know what the game's about, how would you explain it, The Tramp, since you've been there since the start?

The Tramp: To strip it back to the bare essentials the series largely takes place in the mind of central character Desmond Miles who is a descendant of the ancient guild of assassins who have been locked in battle against the Knights Templar for centuries. Using a machine called the Animus, Desmond "replays" memories hidden in his genes to unlock information and skills from his ancestors (the aforementioned Altair and Ezio) which will help him fight against the Knights Templar in the present. Typically down-to-earth videogame design. It's kind of like a much less disturbing version of Strange Days combined with an old Errol Flynn swashbuckler. Cracking stuff. I'm a big fan.

Trampy: Just to be clear, are there any choreographed dance sequences?

The Tramp: ... 

Trampy: OK, they are brilliant games. And I'm amazed at the amount of historical detail they cram in. They're in danger of being educational, but that's not what they foreground during the annual marketing blitz ...

The Tramp: Yeah, they don't mention the historical factfiles they've stuffed the games with but it's easy to get distracted reading up on lots of the characters you meet ... before killing them. Anyway, I had a look around the internet and found a clip that's basically a full action scene with an Assassin's Creed vibe. The classic cartoon action whistle sound that follows the comedy sneeze pretty much sets the tone – think Benny Hill meets Tony Jaa and you'll be on the right lines ...



Trampy: Ho boy. I think the character is supposed to be a milkman but he has some pretty sick skills: horse-riding, swordfighting, hand-to-hand combat. It's obviously an all-ages film so there's no Ong Bak-style knee-crunching or throat-tearing-out but some of the action was imaginatively, if cartoonishly, staged. But it also seemed to lift the "cry of the eagle" sound effect from the games. What did you think to the action?

The Tramp: Although there's no blood or any real visceral detail I was surprised by how violent it is. It's pretty full on for U certificate – the Indian U cert must permit more violence than over here, it was rated 12A for cinema release in the UK. I really find the juxtaposition of the comedy and violence pretty odd but I have to admit I did enjoy the clip. Weirdly the shot of the hero rearing on the horse reminded me of the old Alexei Sayle Zorro spoof where he rears up on his moped. Don't know why.

Trampy: Confession: I laughed out loud when he made a big show of whipping out his sword and then wielded it like a cricket bat. I could see that going down well in the cinema. I'm starting to think maybe it's like Like Mike, where Lil Bow Wow finds a pair of Michael Jordan's trainers and then inherits all his basketball skills. Maybe the dude is only a badass when he's wearing the costume?

The Tramp: Judging by the trailer when he's not wearing the costume he's inherited some crazy dance skills. And talking about Lil Bow Wow, it all gets a bit R'n'B video at the end doesn't it? I was getting a strong Michael and Janet Jackson vibe. Sweet moves.

Trampy: Ubisoft recently announced the setting for this year's Assassin's Creed 3 game. After the last few were set in Renaissance Italy, the latest one fast-forwards to 18th-century Colonial America. The beauty of the Assassin's Creed mythos is that they could theoretically set a game at any point in history – do you think we would ever see one set in India, or nearby regions?

The Tramp: I'm not sure about India but a lot of fans were sure that the series was going to end up in Japan. I'd love to see what a version set in India came out like – a major part of the gameplay involves blending into the crowds that fill the bustling cities and that's something that isn't hard to imagine if it was set in Delhi or Calcutta. (Surely if they were to take the series to India it would have to be set in the days of the Raj?). If they let you ditch the horse and jump on an elephant that would be awesome ... or a tiger. Imagine a game that let you ride A TIGER.

Trampy: I think that's thrown the ultimate gauntlet to game designers worldwide. But it basically boils down to one question: are we interested enough to try and get a copy on DVD? I sounds like it was a decent-sized hit, so it should be readily available ...

The Tramp: I'm not sure I'd part with a lot of cash for it but I'd certainly be up for giving it a bash. I've never had the full-on Bollywood experience so I'd like to give it a try – but at 160m this is maybe a bit long for a first attempt.

Trampy: Hey! Didn't I hear on a recent podcast that a certain someone has a birthday coming up soon?

The Tramp: That may be true. I was planning to celebrate with a Courier Of Death/Wild Beasts double bill on The Projector. But maybe we could give Velayudham a whirl too ...

SOME OTHER RECENT TATTGOC NEWS POSTS
It's Episode Six Of What We're Going To Keep Calling The Planet's Only Curry Podcast ...
It's The Podcast That's Hotta Than A Dried Bhut Jolokia (Episode 5 feat. Tikka MaBaws)
TATTGOC Sexytime! In Other Words, It's The First Podcast Of 2012
TATTGOC's New Year *Revolutions* For 2012
Spice Fillers: The Best Of TATTGOC 2011
Pod Cast Ye Merry Gentlemen ... It's Your Special Festive Episode Of Keep Calm And Curry On!
Jingle Is Massive! It's TATTGOC's Curr-istmas Gift Guide 2011 ...
The TATTGOC Podcast Returns! And For Some Reason It's Still Not Called "CHATGOC!!

1 comments:

The Duke said...

That looks amazing. Good find guys. Haven't seen such abrupt tonal shifts since the Star Wars prequels, but this looks a lot more fun.

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