The controversial ‘transgender hitman’ movie starring Michelle Rodriguez has landed at the Toronto Film Festival.
And the early signs are that it’s getting quite the kicking at the hands of the critics.
The concept of the movie has already been met with undisguised disgust from the transgender community, with Rodriguez playing a macho male hitman called Frank – glued-on beard and all – who is given a forced sex change by a disgraced surgeon in revenge for one of his hits.
Obviously, the surgeon is played by Sigourney Weaver.
Now reviews of the movie – directed by veteran Hollywood helmsman Walter Hill, he of ‘The Warriors’ fame – suggest that it might just be as bad as everyone thought.
Vulture has called the film ‘a total disasterpiece’.
“Needless to say, in the year 2016, a movie that treats gender-reassignment as the ultimate karmic punishment for mass murder might be a little out of step with the times,” writes Kyle Buchanan.
“Rodriguez has been magnetic in other movies yet seems ill at ease here as she slips in and out of a meatball-smacking “hey, whatsa matta you” accent and eyes every scene like she’s looking for the door, but it’s Weaver’s presence that proves the most confounding. Sigourney, why?”
Smilarly, Dennis Harvey in Variety fails to see the joke, if indeed there is one.
“Nobody – not even viewers willing to settle for good, unclean B-movie fun — is done any favors by something as crude as ‘(re)Assignment’, which gracelessly mashes together hardboiled crime-melodrama cliches and an unintentionally funny “Oh no! I’m a chick now!!” gender-change narrative hook,” he writes.
“[Hill has] responded to anger over the somewhat trashy conceit in the trans community by calling the film strictly a pulp fantasy, one unintended to reflect modern transgender (or any other) reality.
“But the larger-than-life stylization that made it possible to swallow, even luxuriate in the cartoonish excesses of such vintage Hill joints as ‘Warriors’, ‘Streets of Fire’ and ‘The Driver’ is absent here.”
Kevin Jagernauth on The Playlist adds: “The filmmaker’s touch is completely lost here, and the only danger the film winds up posing is to the time spent by those who choose to watch it.”
The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee adds:
[re]Assignment is essentially The Skin I Live In remade by Tommy Wiseau. Staggeringly incompetent – like it was made for a dare #TIFF
— Benjamin Lee (@benfraserlee) September 11, 2016
Thus far Todd McCarthy in The Hollywood Reporter is providing the only voice of support, writing that it may have been misread, and that Hill is actually going for cartoonish, ‘Sin City’-esque, unreconstructed thrills, rather than tone-deaf offence.
“For longtime fans of the filmmaker, this Canadian-made low-budget revenge yarn will be embraced as Hill’s most entertaining and, on the terms it sets for itself, accomplished film in some time. It’s an instant cult item,” he writes.
“The somber tone and low-end production values may not be exactly in tune with young neo-noir enthusiasts, but more seasoned fans of the genre and the filmmaker will recognize and embrace Hill’s use of noir to play with and comment on topical issues in a deliciously subversive way, political correctness be damned.”
This is what Trans Face looks like! And I’m really over it! Awhile back I decided to do some poking around to see what updates I came across concerning the deplorable new movie formerly known as “Tomboy: A Revenger’s Tale” starring Michelle Rodriguez (@MRodOfficial). It has now been renamed “(Re)Assignment”. Apparently “Tomboy” was to insensitive of a title. Written and directed by Walter Hill (from a story by Denis Hamill), the film centers on an expert assassin who is double-crossed and forced to undergo a gender reassignment surgery (Rodriguez) by a rogue surgeon (Sigourney Weaver), and then sets out for vengeance. This movie is a remake of “Johnny Handsome” with a Gender bending twist. This is a behind the scenes pic of Michelle Rodriguez with a faux beard (assuming this a shot from a scene before the inflicted “punishment” in the movie) on YouTube along with this “post-op punishment” clip (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5jtsvDcdwuY)! Yes, this is really happening! (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1EPF951fRkU) Please read the following articles for backstory. • http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/oct/29/michelle-rodriguez-tomboy-lgbt-gender-reassignment-movie • http://www.afterellen.com/movies/460779-problem-michelle-rodriguez • http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/08/michelle-rodriguez-to-play-transgender-hitman-in-walter-hills-reassignment/ • I ask the following question: 1. Why is gender reassignment being depicted as a cruel punishment? This movie is doomed! We must Boycott (Re)Assignment! • #StopTheShade #StopThisBullShit #StopTransFace #TransInMedia #BoycottTomboyMovie #BoycottReAssignment #MichelleRodriguez #MRodOfficial #TomboyARevengersTale #ReAssignment #TransLivesMatter
A photo posted by Elizabeth Marie Rivera (@elizabeth_lolita_ninja) on Aug 17, 2016 at 4:51pm PDT
Either way, it appears that the transgender community won’t be changing its mind anytime soon, with a boycott still very much in the offing once the film hits cinemas.
Image credits: SBS Productions