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The Assignment

Manufacturer: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided NewTechReview with a NFR unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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Review: The Assignment on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD"Legendary director Walter Hill (The Warriors) gives the revenge film a modern neo-noir twist with this electrifying thriller. Hit man Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez) is given a lethal assignment, but after being double-crossed, he discovers he's not the man he thought he was -- he's been surgically altered and now has the body of a woman. Seeking vengeance, Frank heads for a showdown with the person who transformed him, Dr. Rachel Kay (Sigourney Weaver), a brilliant surgeon with a chilling agenda of her own." That is the official description for The Assignment, now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD from Lionsgate, which has provided NewTechReview with a NFR copy for review.

You would think that with actors like Michelle Rodriguez and especially Sigourney Weaver, any movie in which they starred would be a definite success. Unfortunately, this isn't the case with The Assignment, which is a very strange (albeit somewhat unique) twist on the action genre that looks like one of the storylines from Sin City, but one that would've been left on the cutting room floor (or never filmed in the first place).

The basic gist of The Assignment is that contract killer Frank Kitchen (Rodriguez) is hired to do a job, but instead he's double-crossed by Honest John, the mobster that hired him. Instead of killing Frank, however, Honest John makes a deal with a disgraced doctor (Weaver) who has been kicked out of the medical community for questionable practices. Honest John delivers Frank to the doctor, who proceeds to perform a gender reassignment on Frank as revenge. Frank had killed one of her relatives during a past hit. Of course, Frank then goes on a rampage trying to find the doctor and killing anyone in his (or her) way.

While the four main stars (Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Anthony LaPaglia, and Tony Shalhoub) do their best to provide creative performances, they are stiffled by the inadequacies of the script. And to top it all off, the entire film is told via flashbacks with both the doctor and Frank as narrators, which seems to be another take from Sin City.

The Blu-ray release of The Assignment provides a 1080p AVC encode with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, as well as a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, both of which include clean and clear visuals, dialogue, and ambience. There's only one bonus feature, which consists of a slideshow of stills called Filmmaking Portraits.

If you liked Sin City and you don't mind the B-movie quality, you may enjoy The Assignment, and you'll get to see Michelle Rodriguez is all her naked glory. However, I feel that most viewers will find this film to be a letdown and I can't recommend it.

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