Movie Review: The Assignment

Just to point this out, Michelle Rodriguez’s portrayal of a man isn’t all that great in a physical sense, as his voice and facial appearance, despite being covered in facial hair, still isn’t entirely believable. Even the fact that the movie showed the full frontal view of her character, Frank Kitchen, was enough to make a person laugh. But the laughter kind of dies down when Frank is set up by one of those that work with him, as the assassin is captured and turned into a woman by a skilled surgeon that had a reason to want to hurt Frank. It turns out that the assassin killed her brother, and instead of taking Frank’s life, Jane, played by Sigourney Weaver, decided to give Frank gender reassignment surgery to turn him into a woman and thereby change his perspective. In terms of being a cruel punishment, one can’t help but feel that it would be horrific indeed to wake up and realize that your body had been altered in an irreversible way. To go to sleep a he and wake up a she would be disorienting, to say the least. 

Understandably, Frank is enraged and wants to kill everyone that had something to do with it, but the way he reacts is kind of odd since one can only attribute it to a strange mix of shock and rage that has Frank walking around in little to no clothing while attempting to make sense of the situation. The overall feel of this movie was that of confusion, frustration, and the desire to regain the kind of power that was lost in one fell swoop. If that was intentional then it worked, but if it was accidental then, well, it still worked. The fact is that this movie feels gritty and kind of steeped in the filth that one might experience with the underworld dealings that Frank was a part of. As an assassin that didn’t appear to care about much it’s easy to think that Frank wasn’t a character that would inspire a lot of people.

Instead, this character was someone that was given a different perspective thanks to circumstances that were taken out of his control and given back to her in a way that left Frank feeling powerless and without direction at first. But as the movie continued along and Frank continued to uncover clues regarding how to get back at those that had wronged him, it was established that power is something that can shift quite easily since those who have it and those who don’t tend to flip the tables now and then when it’s least expected. To make a long story short, Frank went from being a non-entity that did the jobs he was paid for to being a nightmare for those that had bothered to leave him alive when they probably should have left him in pieces. Dr. Jane did manage to enact a bit of cruelty on Frank that might have been deserved since it does appear that Frank is not a nice person and doesn’t care who knows it. But at the same time, leaving such an individual alive is kind of like tempting fate, especially if the individual is left with the use of their arms and legs, as well as their hands, which in this case is a mistake since Frank’s aim is impeccable. 

Overall, looking at this movie from one perspective isn’t bound to give one the whole picture since it’s fair to think that seeing this as a man is going to create the idea that of course, many men would go after those that turned them into a woman based on anger alone. But taking a look at it from other perspectives would offer up other ideas that might be kind of interesting. It’s tough to take a look at those perspectives without having lived a life beyond one’s own gender, but it’s not hard to imagine how difficult it might appear to be since there are plenty of moments in this movie that make it clear that some folks would see conflict where others might see nothing more troubling than the lack of consent. 

There could be a reason why this movie didn’t take off in a big way, as the acting was decent and the use of Rodriguez and Weaver wasn’t too bad. But using Sigourney as a villain carries a few caveats with it, and one of those is that making her a bit of an egotistical loon isn’t the best direction. Her role as a villain in The Cabin in the Woods was interesting since it was short and not so drawn out. But here, she did a good enough job to be convincing, but it still felt a little too over the top. All in all, this movie was provocative and intriguing, but again, Michelle Rodriguez does not make a convincing man. 

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