The movie, The Assignment

“After waking up and discovering that he has undergone gender reassignment surgery, an assassin seeks to find the doctor responsible.” – IMDb

I’ve only read the above, and watched the trailer.  So my comments will be limited at this time.

This movie is designed as a thriller, to make some money, in the hopes of all parties involved in it.  What I’ve seen about it  is not the kind of advertising that screams, “if you want to learn about trans people, come watch this.”  I get it – what’s a guy’s worst fear?  To have his genitals removed – this movie is playing off that fear.

Having Michelle Rodriguez play the role of the assassin after forcibly having surgery, is quite laughable.  Voices don’t raise from male up to female just due to what we trans people call ‘bottom surgery’.

So to me The Assignment is just an entertainment piece.


Two things I want to point out come from this:

First, trans people have to live the flip side of this quite often.  In the movie, a person who doesn’t want the surgery gets forced to have it.  They’re forced to live in the ‘wrong body’.

Yet very often, trans people who want the surgery are prevented from getting it, being barred from it mostly due to finances.  And in many states and countries, you have to get that very surgery to be allowed to change your identification, and put many, many roadblocks in our way to getting it.  It’s very hypocritical, when it’s a condition we are born with, likely caused by a genetic or epigenetic issue.  Many trans people have to actually live the flip side of the concept presented in the movie, which most people will never face.

Second, what would be the opposite plot, but from a trans person’s perspective?  Let your mind wander on this one, and imagine whatever you will.  (Insert dramatic pause here…) A movie is already in production with that as an idea for the story.  I know who’s playing the lead in it, and I look forward to seeing this trans person represent those who’ve been abused.  It will be very cathartic for some in the trans community, I would think.


It’s funny how things have been going in opposites lately.  A few very vocal people got upset when Matt Bomer was cast to play a transgender woman in the movie Anything.  I didn’t get upset for several reasons, one being because I knew another movie was already in production, where an out transgender man was cast to play a cisgender costar role in a feature film.  They just haven’t announced it yet.  Wouldn’t it be funny if they ended up premiering at the same film festival?  That could happen, although the second movie is a couple of months behind Anything in post production.

So in the end I see The Assignment as a thriller intended to play off the fears of men, and maybe lots of women will drag their husbands and boyfriends to see it, just because it’s so extreme.  Maybe they’ll get butts into seats in the theater, and that’s what it’s all about.  In the end, I do hope those people filling the seats see how hard it is to live the opposite of who you really are.

-Ann Thomas

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