The first trailer for The Assignment has arrived and it’s just as tasteless and cringe-worthy as the longline would lead you to believe.
From legendary genre director Walter Hill (The Warriors, The Driver and 48 Hours, among others), The Assignment stars Michelle Rodriguez as Frank Kitchen, an ace hitman who sets out a revenge spree after he is captured by a sadistic, amoral surgeon (Sigourney Weaver) and subject to a forced gender reassignment surgery.
The film was originally called Tomboy, then (Re)Assignment and finally the generic The Assignment, which seems destined to lure in a lot of people who have no idea what they’re getting into.
However, its sensationalistic plot has not gone down well with the trans community, who hit out at Rodriguez and dismissed the film as exploitation.
Rodriguez last year defended playing a transgender person in the film The Assignment because she is bisexual.
Speaking to Reuters, she said:
What is transgender? Is it a psychological thing or is it an operation, and does the LGBTQ community own the operation? Do they have a branding right over a sex change?
Are they mad that somebody decided to take their branded transgender operation and use it on heterosexual people?
It’s a B-movie noir genre comic book take on something.
I’m bisexual. I do guys. I do girls. You can’t really argue with me because I’m you.
So if I do a movie, I’d never do a movie with the intention of offending anybody in the LGBT community because I’m a part of it.”
But in 2015, a GLAAD spokesperson said of the film:
We haven’t read the script, but it’s disappointing to see filmmakers turning what is a life-saving medical procedure for transgender people into a sensationalistic plot device.”
Director Walter Hill insisted other films have dealt with similar plots in the past.
I don’t know why this one stirred up such interest in a way that those didn’t except that I think the transgender situation has been more in the headlines the last couple of years.
I don’t know. I’m a storyteller, it’s a crime story, it’s a noir vision, it’s comic book in a way and quite a few women have said to me that after seeing the movie, they feel empowered by it.”
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