The Movie: 3/10
Where do I start? I didn’t like The Assignment. OK, now, where do I go from there? Why don’t I like it? Yes, that’s a good place to start. It might take too long to give the full scene by scene version of my utter dislike of this movie, so I’ll be as brief as I can. When I don’t like a movie I don’t bail on it, well usually not. I have only stopped one or two movies in my life. I have never left a theater during a movie, however, I do think that if I had gone to the trouble to go out to see this movie I might consider it. You will be thinking that it can’t be THAT bad, and you are correct. The Assignment isn’t a poorly made flick, and it’s not worse than a lot of movies I’ve seen in my life. I won’t go into the list of films that make me want those hours of my life back, it would be boring and to be honest just because I didn’t like them doesn’t mean you wouldn’t.
The Assignment is about a hit man who has wronged a very clever surgeon who secretly gives the hit man a sex reassignment surgery and so he becomes a she. That sounds like a lush idea, indeed. In today’s cinema world of special effects and wonderful make up arts we would all have hope for this to be doable and believable……it wasn’t. The man version of Michelle Rodriguez didn’t work at all, and that haunted the entire movie. I was not convinced she was a man, and so everything after that was a struggle. That’s not the only thing though, there’s more. The writing of a lot of the dialogue is so flat, so uninspired, so bland it’s hard to understand how anyone thought it was in good service of telling a story. There is one more pretty big thing that brings the movie down for me, the action sequences are done in a way that makes me think of someone making a movie who doesn’t really understand how to tell a story.
There is not much of a story here to tell. I thought the unwanted sex reassignment would be a spark for a character’s journey that was fascinating, it’s not. I usually think most hit man / hit woman stories are intriguing for various reasons, it’s not. Is there anything about this movie I do like? There is.
There are, surprisingly, 3 things I did enjoy. I like the performances of Sigourney Weaver and Tony Shalhoub are 2 of the best things of the whole experience. They both do a good job of being the characters they are meant to be, and do the best they can with the often corny (unintentionally) dialogue. The other thing I did like about the movie goes back to these two as well, the dynamic between the Psychiatrist (Shalhoub) and the Surgeon (Weaver) held my interest for the most part and gave the story a bit of a foundation. Even if they aren’t well written precisely, these scenes would have kept me in my seat at the movie theater if I had the urge to leave.
Overall I really really did not like this movie. It felt forced and trying too hard to be something special, and it failed for me. I would not have the poster….but thanks for asking:)
- Film-making Portraits – Basically still images from the movie and behind the scenes.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art: 2/10
I don’t even care about the cover art. This movie is my worst of the year so far, so the box art really won’t do much to change that.
Audio & Video: 8/10
The Assignment comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate with an AVC encode in 1080p at an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Filmed digitally using the Arri Alexa this is an average looking movie that sometimes looks like it belongs on TV. Detail levels are good and shadow detail is up to par. Unfortunately the makeup on Rodriguez looks awful and might look better if the movie had a grimy grind house look to it rather than the pristine digital look Hill went with.
The Assignment is pretty much littered with gunfire and death, the DTS-HD master Audio 5.1 track does a reasonable job of making things seem exciting during the actiony parts. Dialog is clean and central way above par for such an underwhelming movie.
Overall Score 3/10