Parents' Guide to

The Assignment

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Mature, pulpy thriller has iffy take on transgender themes.

Movie R 2017 95 minutes
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On the one hand, this thriller starts out with a ludicrous, wrong-headed idea, but on the other hand, as directed by Walter Hill, it's so skillful and pulpy that it could become a cult classic. Certainly The Assignment (the title changed from (Re)Assignment) is inauthentic, and the surgery is initially viewed as a punishment or a setback. And the timing of the movie's release, when real-life discrimination is the norm against transgender people, isn't ideal. But it's clear that this isn't a hateful movie.

Hill -- who first worked with Weaver on Alien (1979), which he produced -- is best known for directing action classics The Warriors and 48 Hrs., as well as the recent Bullet to the Head. His filmmaking here is rugged, hard, and snappy, delivering a "B" movie punch right out of days gone by; it even includes transitions designed to look like comic-book panels. A theme in most of Hill's films involves characters who find themselves in unfamiliar territory. And Rodriguez is no different; she's a tough hero that anyone can sympathize with and root for.

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