THE ASSIGNMENT Trailer Doesn’t Want You To Know What It’s About

Well… this looks like a thing.

In case you’re late to the party (or just forgot) this Walter Hill joint was originally called TOMBOY and briefly re-titled as RE-ASSIGNMENT. Shot a year or two ago, it’s a Grindhouse-ish intentionally-trashy deal where the “hook” is that Michelle Rodriguez is playing a male hitman (“Frank Kitchen” – holy shit!) who, after a job goes bad, wakes up to discover that an evil surgeon (Sigourney Weaver) with an unnamed grudge against him has performed unwanted gender-reassignment surgery on him – in other words, he wakes up “as” Michelle Rodriguez, but still acting/talking/fighting/ like a snarky mas-macho hitman.

Yeah.

I’ll say it: You can understand why they thought this was a good idea: Divorced from literally everything remotely reality-adjacent in its premise, it must have sounded (especially to Rodriguez) like the logical vehicle to carry her default “tough guy who happens to be a gal” screen persona to the ultimate extreme and also riff on the humor of it… but clearly nobody involved (Walter Hill is in his 80s, right?) bothered to check the temperature of the culture i.e. whether or not the idea of gender-reassignment surgery being used as a weapon of torture/punishment would be massively offensive to the transgender community an allies.

Which, of course, it is – but in lieu of not releasing it, they mostly seem to be hiding the premise. The trailer features no shots of Rodriguez in her male-persona makeup (a goatee, short hair, some light facial prosthesis and some old-fashioned chest-taping; going by what shots have circulated) and only a few brief lines actually refer to the plot, almost as though they’re angling to sell it as a twist – you didn’t pay really close attention, you’d have to assume Rodriguez was starring in a lower-budget lesbian cousin to JOHN WICK.

The sense has been that the studio knows that no matter how worthwhile this ends up being as a sleazy/cheezy “ha, it’s funny because everyone already says she always plays dudes” deal the profound insensitivity to the transgender community (and how far the cultural “bar” has moved, rightly, on trans-acceptance) was going to bury it; so they’re probably just looking to dump it and hope Rodriguez’s name recognition moves some Redbox numbers before the “actual” premise leaks out and every “bad movie” video blogger does their “LOL WTF donkey-laugh” take and turns it into a “thing.”

THE ASSIGNMENT is still without an official release date.

4 thoughts on “THE ASSIGNMENT Trailer Doesn’t Want You To Know What It’s About

  1. Travis says:

    A “lower-budget lesbian cousin to JOHN WICK” sounds pretty interesting to me. As long as it’s well-written and not strictly exploitative, it’d be nice to see an LGBT action movie protagonist once in a while. Too bad this isn’t that.

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  2. aigarius says:

    Not a LGBT person myself, but I could see this working in a positive direction for the community if it really sells the pain of being in a body that is not of the gender you identify as, at least trying to enter a male bathroom and being scorned at by rednecks about it. It could (in theory) could even be played as far as completely breaking the macho assassin into a mental breakdown. I am 99% sure they will not even try doing that, but the potential could be there.

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  3. Venom says:

    Walter Hill is 75.

    So Goodbye Charlie, Cleo/Leo, Switch, etc. as an action movie? Ok enough idea I guess. The problematic aspects are probably due to having it done by surgery as opposed to the supernatural (though in Switch it was literally an act of Satan).

    Would rather see a Watermelon Man-esque take though. Random white dude becomes Wesley Snipes; who wouldn’t love that?

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