The Assignment review by Bobby Blakey
Over the years director Walter Hill has offered up some great films including The Warriors, Bullet to the Head, Trespass, 48 Hrs and more. His latest, The Assignment stars Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, and Anthony LaPaglia, but does it capture the same action magic as a lot of his previous films or will it be just too out there to accept the change?
The Assignment follows an ace assassin who is double crossed by gangsters and falls into the hands of rogue surgeon known as The Doctor who turns him into a woman. The hitman now a hitwoman sets out for revenge, aided by a nurse named Johnnie who also has secrets. The premise to this film is so silly it could have been something really cool, but one major misstep kind of messed it all up for me. When you are dealing with two characters that have to embody the same character in different ways you have to really think it out to make it work. Sadly here Michelle Rodriguez is supposed to start the film as a man, but instead of hiring an actor to play the part they put her in a full body prosthetic suit and fake beard that just doesn’t work. There is no mystery that it is her and all you can see and wonder is why she is dressed as a man, especially if you weren’t aware of the premise of the film.
Outside of this bizarre beginning it is a decent enough revenge flick with some decent action, but predictable plot twists. I like Rodriguez in these action roles as she can carry them well, but this film is all over the place at times and never fully cements itself in the revenge nature it is trying to be. I wish they had left more to the mystery and allowed it all to unfold in a way to make it more shocking and interesting because it had everything it needed for that, but in the end just failed to fully utilize it for me.
Check out The Assignment for yourself if for no other reason just the sheer strangeness of it all when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on June 6th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.