Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-10-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

FILM REVIEW The Assignment
by Steve Warren
2017-04-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Director: Walter Hill. Starring: Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub and Caitlin Gerard. Running time: 95 min. Release date: April 7 at the AMC Woodridge

Michelle Rodriguez is no stranger to controversy. When she came out as bisexual in 2013, the only people who were surprised were those of us who had assumed she was totally lesbian.

It's Christmas in April for fans of Rodriguez, who has three films opening within two weeks. She's part of the voice cast of Smurfs: The Lost Village and reprises the role of Letty in The Fate of the Furious. However, the role that's stirred the most talk ( and least distribution ) is the lead in The Assignment, which was released in the UK as Tomboy and is also known as Tomboy: A Revengers Tale and, on the print I reviewed, ( Re )Assignment, which is the most appropriate title of all.

The controversy started before The Assignment began filming, when word got out ( doubtless through a wily publicist ) that the plot concerns a hitman ( Rodriguez ) who unknowingly underwent gender-reassignment surgery at the hands of an evil doctor ( Sigourney Weaver ) who sought revenge because the hitman killed her brother.

I've got a problem with people who talk about boycotting a movie they haven't seen because they don't like the concept ( the "gay scene" in Beauty and the Beast, anyone? ). They usually just rouse interest and help the box office.

I believe Rodriguez when she says, "I'd never do a movie with the intention of offending anybody in the LGBT community because I'm a part of it."

But offense, like harm, is not always intentional. Dr. Rachel Kay ( Weaver ) took an oath to "First do no harm..." before losing her license over unauthorized experimentation, performing gender reassignment surgery on homeless people supplied to her by gangsters.

Dr. Kay thinks her work, which "harmed no one of any value," was for the greater good. Even when she operated on Frank Kitchen ( Rodriguez ) out of revenge, she thought she was, in a noble spirit of forgiveness, giving Frank a chance to make a fresh start. We see in detail that Frank comes out of the operation fully transitioned, with no scars on her female body.

We see that, and several routine shootouts, but most of the information in The Assignment is told rather than shown. The exposition-heavy screenplay is especially disappointing because it comes from director Walter Hill, who made some good action movies in the '80s but has done little of note since. He's turned part of his attention to writing graphic novels, a trilogy of which were the source for this violent novelty.

It begins with Dr. Kay being held in a mental hospital until she's judged fit for trial. In a textbook example of bad writing, she receives a psych evaluation from a doctor ( Tony Shalhoub ) who tells her everything she already knows but the audience doesn't. Later, Frank, who never changes her name, presents her side in a lengthy video soliloquy.

Although Frank feels like a new woman, she settles for the same female sex partner she had as a man—a nurse named Johnnie ( Caitlin Gerard ).

Weaver, favoring mannish business suits when she isn't straitjacketed, is not at her best. Rodriguez does some good work, but a beard and a man's body can't overcome her feminine voice in the pre-surgical scenes. However, The Assignment includes neutral information about gender reassignment.

But mostly it's, as Rodriguez says, "...in the B-movie genre, a culture shock pic, shot like a film noir graphic novel." It's not trying to be high art, just diverting trash. Still, it could have been much better—with some changes.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

53rd Chicago International Film fest announces awards 2017-10-22 - The Chicago International Film Festival today hosted an awards presentation, sponsored by Sound Investment AV, at the AMC River East 21, celebrating the ...


Gay News

Chicago-made Signature Move returns to theaters this weekend 2017-10-20 - Chicago-made Signature Move will be back in theaters this weekend The made-in-Chicago-by-Chicagoans movie Signature Move returns for a limited engagement starting Friday, October ...


Gay News

FILM Big names show up for 'Marshall' event 2017-10-18 - The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival opened Oct. 12 with a red-carpet event before the screening of the new flick Marshall at AMC ...


Gay News

'50s return in Pride Films' 'Arrangement' 2017-10-18 - Pride Films and Plays is now presenting Perfect Arrangement, by Topher Payne, through Oct. 22, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. It's 1950, and new ...


Gay News

Kathy Bates gets personal at Lynn Sage event 2017-10-18 - Actress Kathy Bates was the guest speaker at the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation's 32nd annual luncheon on Oct. 2 at the Hilton ...


Gay News

Film festival to honor Alfre Woodard 2017-10-18 - The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, announced that actress Alfre Woodard will be honored with a Career Achievement Award as ...


Gay News

Showbiz news: Anderson Cooper, Kelly Clarkson, Shaun T, Coming Out Day 2017-10-17 - Andy Cohen will co-host CNN's New Year's Eve celebration with Anderson Cooper, Deadline noted. Cohen—best known as host and EP of Bravo's Watch ...


Gay News

Freelancers Anonymous LGBTQ comedy feature filmed in Chicago 2017-10-16 - Award-winning Spanish filmmaker Sonia Sebastian ( De Chica en Chica/Amazon ) teams up with Lisa Cordileone and playwright Amy Dellagiarino on Freelancers Anonymous, ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Monteverde, Chicago Ideas Week and more 2017-10-11 - —Monteverde: Monteverde Executive Chef Sarah Grueneberg won Best Chef Great Lakes at the James Beard Awards this year—and for good reason. Her West ...


Gay News

Social-change film festival Oct. 13-15 2017-10-11 - The national nonprofit organizaiton Social Change will host its social-change film festival, #ChangeFest, in three states: Illinois, California and New York. In Illinois, ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.