Ladies and gentlemen, here is a movie that is going to piss a lot of people off. 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. Oof. Not great, Bob. (You can read Phil’s full review here.)
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. As you might expect, it’s already taken some heat from trans advocacy groups for casting a cisgender woman in the lead role in addition to the obvious indelicateness of the plot. There’s no official U.S. release date, but for now, you can check out the trailer and get your cringe on below.
I’m always conflicted when it comes to overtly provocative garbage like this. It’s offensive and rude and inconsiderate, but as someone who grew up fascinated with exploitation cinema, the Marquis de Sade, and the tradition of crass, crude provocateurs, I have a soft spot for such purely insane and uncompromising trash. That said, in a time when trans rights are still struggling to take shape, my own self-indulgent interest in button-putting sleaze holds no weight next to the needs of a community in an unending battle for acceptance.
Plus, it’s not necessarily the idea that’s offensive, it’s the execution. And it looks like The Assignment is just swinging blindly in that regard. Pedro Almodovar‘s extraordinary The Skin I Live in played with a lot of similar themes and subject matters, but it did it in a thoughtful and sympathetic way that offered a little commentary on gender culture and human nature in addition to its lurid plot points. I think The Assignment is pretty much a surface-level revenger that’s pretty unconcerned with soul-searching commentary.
Confidential Assignment (Hangul: 공조; Hanja: 共助; RR: Gongjo; lit. Cooperation) is a 2017 South Koreanaction film directed by Kim Sung-hoon. It stars Hyun Bin, Yoo Hae-jin and Kim Joo-hyuk.
Im Cheol-ryung (Hyun Bin) is an officer of a special investigation team in North Korea. His team goes to a disturbance at a warehouse that prints counterfeit money. Im Cheol-ryung's superior Cha Ki-seong (Kim Joo-hyuk) and his own team are there to steal the master plates to print the counterfeit money. A shootout takes place and, in the process, Im Cheol-ryung is shot and others killed.
North Korean officials later learn that Cha Ki-seong has fled to South Korea. Im Cheol-ryung is ordered to capture Cha Ki-seong and retrieve the stolen master plates. He is given only three days to complete his mission. For the first time, South Korea and North Korea decide to cooperate to catch a criminal. South Korean officials though have doubts whether Cha Ki-seong is really a killer. Detective Kang Jin-tae (Yoo Hae-jin) from Seoul is ordered to watch over Im Cheol-ryung tightly while he is in South Korea.
Confidential Assignment opened in second place at the box office on January 18. It rose to first place in its second week selling an accumulative 4 million tickets by January 30 and surpassed the 5 million mark two days later.
The movie became the most viewed Korean movie during the first half of 2017 by attracting 7.8 million audience locally. However, this record was surpassed in August by A Taxi Driver.
Confidential Assignment was sold to 42 territories, including the U.S. and several countries in Asia.
- In US on January 27, 2017
- In Canada on February 3
- In Australia and New Zealand on February 9
- In Hong Kong and Macao on February 16
- In Taiwan on February 17
- In Vietnam on March 3
- In Thailand on April 13
- In India on November 25
Awards and nominations
- ^"Yoo Hae-jin, Yoona, Hyun Bin to star in action movie". Korea Times. The Korea Times. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- ^"Confidential Assignment (2017)". Korean Film Biz Zone. Korean Film Council. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- ^Conran, Pierce. "Hyun Bin Sets COOPERATION as Next Project". Korean Film Biz Zone. Korean Film Council. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- ^Conran, Pierce. "Yoon-a Joins Hyun Bin on COOPERATION". Korean Film Biz Zone. Korean Film Council. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- ^Conran, Pierce. "Hyun Bin Kicks Off COOPERATION Shoot". Korean Film Biz Zone. Korean Film Council. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- ^Conran, Pierce. "COOPERATION with Hyun Bin Wraps Production". Korean Film Biz Zone. Korean Film Council. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- ^Son, Ji-hyoung. "Hyun Bin wraps up filming for 'Cooperation'". K-pop Herald. Herald Corporation. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- ^"Teaser trailer for action film 'Cooperation' starring Hyun Bin unveiled". Yonhap News. Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- ^"Kim Joo-hyuk's Unforgettable On-Screen Appearances | Viu". Viu. 2017-11-13. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
- ^"'The King' opens at No. 1 beating 'Confidential Assignment'". The Korea Herald. Herald Corporation. January 19, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- ^Yoon, Sang-geun. "'공조' 누적관객 400만 돌파..설 연휴만 193만 '더킹' 넘나". Naver (in Korean). Star News. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
- ^Jie, Ye-eun. "'Confidential Assignment' surpasses 5m mark". Kpop Herald. Herald Corporation. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- ^"Comedy-action film 'Confidential Assignment' attracts 5 mln viewers". Yonhap News. Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- ^"A Taxi Driver' surpasses 8 mln in attendance, becoming most-viewed film this year". Yonhap News Agency. August 15, 2017.
- ^"Confidential Assignment (공조)". CJ Entertainment USA. CJ E&M Corp. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- ^Lee, Hyo-won. "South Korean Film 'Confidential Assignment' Sells to Multiple Territories". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
- ^Herald, The Korea (2017-05-04). "'Guardian,' 'The Handmaiden' win big at Baeksang Awards". Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- ^"김윤진·장혁부터 도경수까지...한국영화를 빛낸 ★들 [종합]" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- ^"'Confidential Assignment' wins best action award at Fantasia Festival". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- ^"'[더서울어워즈] '비밀의 숲'·'박열', 대상 수상…반박 불가 ★들의 잔치(종합) 본문듣기 설정" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-10-27.
- ^"'서울어워즈' 송강호·나문희·지성·박보영 주연상…·'박열'·'비숲' 대상[종합]". TV Report (in Korean). October 27, 2017.
- ^"박형식·임시완·윤아·김세정, '더 서울어워즈' 인기상 영예" (in Korean). October 24, 2017.
- ^"'대종상영화제' 후보작 공개..'택시' 송강호 男주연상 받을까". Osen News (in Korean). 29 September 2017.
- ^"THE MERCILESS Leads Nominations for 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 14 November 2017.
- ^"Youth is Best Picture at MIFF". Saipan Tribune. December 11, 2017.
- ^"제6회 톱스타상, 수상자 절반이 불참...반쪽짜리 시상식 [종합]". Osen (in Korean). December 28, 2017.
- ^"Asian Film Awards 2018 nominations". South China Morning Post. January 11, 2018.