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9/10
Extremely underrated, first-rate action/thriller!
Renaldo Matlin1 November 2003
This movie really proves that the world is all too often an unfair place, especially the world of motion pictures. "The Assignment" received barely any attention upon it's release and not surprisingly flopped at the box-office, but when history will be written this movie will most surely receive some long lost praise.

Thank God I'm surrounded by friends who knows what's good for me. Being a movie buff like myself a pal highly recommended "The Assignment", a movie I hadn't even heard about. I decided to check out what Leonard Maltin gave it, and not surprisingly he gave it **1/2. Knowing that this is the same grade he gave classics like "Alien", "The Usual Suspects" and "The Matrix" (I kid you not) I knew his meaning didn't mean diddly squat jack s***. So without hesitating I went out and bought it on DVD. This was about 3 years ago and the movie is still one of my proudest belongings in my DVD collection, despite a cover design that echoes a low budget stinker with Casper Van Dien.

"The Assignment" is expertly directed, delivering some really intense moments that will hold you on the edge of your seat throughout the movie, on top of that it boasts an at times brilliant story that you know will be riddled with unexpected twists and turns. It stars Aidan Quinn in one of his best performances, and serves him with great support by Donald Sutherland and Ben Kingsley who are both in great form.

Something like 40 out of 42 user comments like this movie, most of them can't seem to praise it enough. So what are you waiting for? If you call yourself a fan of action-thrillers you should have bought it, rented it, seen it YESTERDAY!
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9/10
An Outstanding Espionage/Terrorist Thriller
CitizenCaine4 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
The Assignment is an outstanding thriller with several plot twists driven by character, rather than star turns, the need to stage special effects, obligatory romance, and endless car chases. However, there is a car chase in here, and a dandy it is. Aidan Quinn is wonderful as both the terrorist and the naval officer "recruited" to eliminate him. It is rare that a second or third tier actor, such as Quinn, is given an important starring role like this that carries a film. Usually, such a role is given to an A-list actor with box office draw, which is probably why I never heard of this film before I saw it. Donald Sutherland is great as the morally ambiguous, somewhat creepy at times, agent that recruits Quinn. Ben Kingsley is fine also as the Israeli agent. The plot is very complex and there are multiple story lines, which converge in gradual fashion toward the end, and not all at once as we're used to seeing. The paranoia and claustrophobia of these type of thrillers is captured and portrayed with both moral ambiguity and frightening intensity. The locations are convincing and effective. The soundtrack is nothing special, but rarely do we get all of the above mentioned qualities these days, without dumb and/or meaningless plot developments; unconvincing star turns; loud, annoying, music video type soundtracks; a villain that hams it up; and repeatedly a cast, costumes, and plot that cater mostly to an audience under 25. This is an outstanding thriller, which most assuredly did not get its just due upon its release. ***1/2 of 4 stars.
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This movie never lets up.
TC-412 January 1999
I don't usually like these kind of espionage movies due to their being dull and predictable. Well, I have changed my mind with this one. This was a real sleeper with a real intelligent story line that keeps you guessing and surprised throughout. Also the surround sound and the great camera work really adds to it. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 10 as I don't know how you could make a better film on this subject.
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10/10
A brilliant, complex, entertaining thriller
Verbal-1712 August 1998
This is one of the best thrillers I've seen. It's intelligently made and brilliantly filmed, and is one of the few thrillers that creates complex, interesting characters and makes the movie about them, not the action. I would recommend it to just about anyone, especially people who like movies with both style and substance.
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kept my butt up
the bee16 May 1999
Very late one night, I happened to click to some cable station that had a movie starting called "The Assignment". I had heard that it was a well made movie from my mother, but who listens to their mother's opinion about movies? Especially about some espionage thriller. Well --- who likes to admit when their mother is right...about anything? Well --- my mother was right. I was up all night, until 4 in the morning, alone, watching this movie, getting paranoid and sucked into its classically told story. The acting was superlative, the direction was on target - which could also be said for the aim of the actors (a lot of gun play), and best of all, it didn't telegraph where the plot was heading. It's a perfect set-up for a franchise, (sorry to sound like an executive at some lumbering movie studio) because I'd be completely interested to see the next adventures of these well rounded characters - and the actors that play them. To the film makers: Do more of these! To the movie watching audience: watch it! watch it with someone you love, as the old saying goes...not because it's romantic, but rather, it's a movie that you need to grab hold of someone during those extra exciting parts. No joke. (the sex scenes teach you a thing or too, as well. A movie that's entertaining, as well as informative! Hey! Now that's a novelty.)
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10/10
great thriller with action, plot, characters and suspense
River4Rain20 April 2003
This is probably one of the best thrillers I have ever seen. It has action, but not this bullet-flying, good guys - bad guys, van damme - stallone action, but quick, realistic and nervous action, it has a plot, cause till the very end of the movie you don't know how this is gonna end, it has characters, aidan quinn, donald sutherland and ben kingsley are just perfect, and it has suspense, this movie just won't let you go away before you've seen the end of it.

Though there are only a few characters, I didn't find it difficult to keep my attention the the story, and as for the story, it's basic (not too tom clancy-difficult, but simple and raw) and realistic.

If you're in for a movie with a good story, some action and great acting, watch this and I promise, you won't go away till you've seen the end of it. The very end of it.
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7/10
The REAL Jackal
Rumples29 November 1998
This is certainly a quality movie with a classy cast. As far as movies about Carlos the Jackal go, this one beats Bruce Willis' feeble efforts in 'The Jackal' to a bloody pulp, then spits on them. I am a bit surprised that this movie hasn't attracted more votes, something of a 'sleeper' obviously. A pity because this film is definitely worth a watch. It is clever and never dull. See it, 7/10
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8/10
The best spy thriller
Luigi Di Pilla14 July 2002
It worked! Director Christian Duguay created a very clever action/spy thriller. The actors Donald Sutherland and especially Aidan Quinn gave a top performance. What a pity that we couldn´t see Aidan Quinn in others movies like this one till now. He was simply the best in the role as Ramirez/Carlos for what he should have earned the Oscar. The picture was very nice. The scenes are fast paced from beginning to the end and the story doesn´t let you a chance to get bored. The movie is too underrated and I recommend it to anyone otherwise you will miss something great. Believe me you will not be disappointed. That´s why i give it 9/10.
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9/10
Slick, tidy, and well-made old school version of a great international thriller.
mhasheider4 February 2002
Slick, tidy, and well-made old school version of how a great international thriller should be made. Determined to nail a feared global terrorist who is known as "Carlos the Jackal", Jack Shaw (Donald Sutherland, "Without Limits", "Space Cowboys"), a CIA operative and his Israeli counterpart, Amos (Ben Kingsley, "Gandhi", "Sexy Beast") get a noble Naval officer, Annibal Ramirez (Aidan Quinn, "Music of the Heart"), to become Carlos and use him in a daring plot to get the KGB to kill the real Carlos, because he took an offer from the CIA. Sutherland and Kingsley are both good here, but the movie really belongs to Quinn here, who embodies himself here (in a dual role). Director Christian Duguay and cinematographer David Franco provide another great asset of the film here with Hitchcockian-like suspense and great sights of the world.
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8/10
A film that deserves more acclaim.
davidddt5 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I will not comment on the story as such. I agree with most peoples comments that this is a good all round action movie with a well told story and good acting.

This film deserves 100% for cinematography for its opening sequence. The opening shot is stunning and I have not yet figured out how they did it. The movie is worth watching for that shot alone! A pity therefore that the DVD that is currently out is just the movie and no information is given as to the making of the film. Let's hope somebody comes up with the special edition.

And the even better thing is that the opening sequence also becomes the ending leaving you totally guessing! Great stuff. A must have for a collector of classic film moments.
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9/10
Brilliant new take
sparklesap29 September 2005
If you liked the Richard Chamberlain version of the Bourne Identity then you will like this too...Aiden Quinn does this one brilliantly, you can't help but wonder if he is really out there...I reckon he and the other main cast members probably had nightmares for weeks after doing this movie as it's so intense. When I first saw it I was just flicking channels on the remote late one evening..& I got hooked within minutes. look up www.answers.com for Ilich Ramírez Sánchez who is the character that "carlos the Jackal" is based on for both... I remember reading about Ilich Ramírez Sánchez's arrest in the paper in 1997. It was front page for weeks, through the trial after his arrest.
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7/10
A sleeper of a spy thriller!
sid3325 March 1999
I found this movie to be quite enjoyable and fairly entertaining. Good characters,good actors and enough suspense to keep your interest throughout. The plot twists might have been a bit much but overall a decent thriller. If you liked this film I would recommend The Spanish Prisoner, The House of Games and No Way Out.
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8/10
Stunts & Actors...
mist19 April 2003
The Stunts sequences (as well as the Special Effects) are Brilliant, in this movie. Michael Scherer must be one of Canadas BEST Stunt Co-ordinators of all time. The explosion in the Café, is a wonderful combination of Stunts, Special Effects AND Visual Effects. The Director HAD an idea, that the Crew managed to create on film.

Besides that; Donald Sutherland makes one of his best performances in this film.......
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The REAL Bourne Identity!
bluefox80817 August 2002
Who is Jason Bourne? It's very likely his real name was Annibal Ramirez.

This is my favorite terrorist thriller of all time. "The Assignment" had the essential plot of "The Bourne Identity" (the book by Robert Ludlum, not the movie starring Matt Damon) and the themes "Face/Off" only touched on.

THE PROS:

THE SCRIPT--this movie was co-written by a former agent with the Israeli Mossad (Israel's version of the CIA), so "The Assignment" had an aura of realism that most Hollywood thrillers lack. This movie showed a dark world of twisted intrigue most of us knows exists but never see. I admit, the look-alike premise was contrived. But the plan to get Carlos was old-school counter-espionage at its best.

THE ACTING--this movie was well-acted all-around. Aidan Quinn was great, both as the tortured hero and the badass villain. Donald Sutherland was also top-notch as the CIA agent obsessed with catching Carlos the Jackal. Ben Kingsley shines as always, this time as an utterly cool, professional Mossad agent.

THE DIRECTING--very well-shot, with interesting camera angles that enhanced the story, not just used to show off the director's talent. Good use of locations. I really felt like I had been to Europe and the Middle East.

THE OPENING SEQUENCE--easily one of the most attention-grabbing opening sequences I've seen in a long time. There's a dazzling sustained steadicam shot, then a scene of such brutal terrorism it's easy to see why CIA agent Jack Shaw becomes bent on destroying Carlos the Jackal.

THE TRAINING SCENES--I've seen tons of action movies. This was one of rare few that took the time to explain in a compelling way how the good guy learns the skills he uses to beat the bad guy. These scenes were already plenty tense, but the psychological angle of going into the mind of a terrorist took it to the next level. I also recommend watching this movie, then watching "The Bourne Identity" starring Matt Damon. The training scenes in "The Assignment" explain how Jason Bourne probably learned to be an assassin.

THE ACTION SCENES--they were all fantastic, real yet stylish at the same time. However, don't expect another "Face/Off" or "The Rock." Unlike most Hollywood blockbusters, "The Assignment" is driven by intelligence and suspense, not spectacular set pieces. But even if the action scenes sucked (which they don't) they would still be gripping because of the engrossing story.

THE THEMES--the themes made this, already a good movie, a great one. "The Assignment" deals with identity, integrity (how bad are you willing to be to do the right thing?), and of how evil infects everything it touches.

THE CONS:

THE CLIMAX--this was what disappointed me the most. After taking all that time to carefully build up the hero and villain, their final confrontation felt too rushed and too predictable.

CARLOS THE JACKAL--he didn't get enough screen time! He was so cool and badass, I wanted to see more!

THE SEXUAL CONTENT--actually I thought this was a good thing, because that damnable PG-13 rating makes it seem like people in movies don't have sex. Just so they can pack more teenagers into theaters. "The Assignment" contains a good share of sex scenes, the most intense being the one Annibal had with an ex-girlfriend of the Jackal. All purely to advance his training, of course. That actress was dynamite!

OVERALL: "The Assignment" is a first-class thriller the likes of which we won't see again very soon. Too bad it was overshadowed by bigger-budgeted, lower-quality terrorist flicks like "The Peacemaker" and "The Jackal."

SCORE: 9.0 out of 10
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10/10
The TRUE Bourne Identity!
cableaddict2 August 2004
2002's the Bourne Identity is one of my all-time favorite movies. however, many fans of the book have complained that the movie had very little to do with the book's plot.

The Assignment is the real deal. It's odd that no-one on the "Bourne Identity" threads has mentioned this movie at all. (Well, I jst did.)

Besides the excellent plot, I personally found this movie to be as good as any espionage movie I've ever seen, with the possible exception of The Bourne

Identity itself.

The action is all completely realistic. I especially liked the protagonists' training regimen, which was very inventive.

The feel is dark and gritty. There are a few surprising plot twists. The acting is excellent.

If you like this genre, I cannot recommend this movie highly enough.
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9/10
Smart, Sophisticated Action/Thriller
benqstock18 January 1999
I loved this film. It was so intelligent but it also had some great action sequences, without basing the movie solely around them. Quinn, Sutherland and Kingsley all put in fantastic performances and there are enough twists to keep anyone interested. The ending was great as well.
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Holds the Attention
Robert J. Maxwell31 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS.

Aidan Quinn is an upright naval officer recruited by CIA man Donald Sutherland and ex-Mossad agent Ben Kingsley to pose as Carlos (the Jackal) because, after all, Quinn is an exact duplicate of Carlos. The general idea is to train Quinn the naval officer to think and act like Carlos the jackal. Then, pretending to be Carlos, Quinn will be seen by observers talking to the CIA. The KGB, who have been associated with Carlos, cannot allow such goings on and will assassinate the real Carlos to prevent him from revealing KGB secrets. Simple enough. Also, as plausible as some cheap mechanical device advertised on TV as giving you "iron-hard abs" in no time at all.

Of course, things don't go as planned. If they did, this would be a routine spy thriller and you could shoehorn Sylvester Stallone or Steven Seagal into the Quinn part. A reluctant and doubtful Quinn is trained in Montreal. Taken to Israel and given further training, including a lesson in how Carlos makes love to the women he uses. Then he arranges to meet his Carlos' girl in Beirut, this time actually playing Carlos for keeps. But the girl, thinking he is the real Carlos, has sold him out to the French and they try to knock him off. They fail, and in the process, they lose four of their men to Quinn. Quinn shoots one of them in the forehead to save himself and it doesn't make him feel particularly good to have this guy's brains splattered on his face because, after all, the French are trying to kill Carlos, which is what we are trying to fake the KGB into doing anyway. And the French are our allies -- or they were until recently, when we started pouring their wine into our gutters.

In a public place, poor Quinn is taken for the real Carlos by one of Carlos' henchmen -- but Quinn doesn't know the password. He doesn't even know there IS a password. He is saved from assassination by Carlos' forces by Ben Kingsley, at the expense of Kingsley's life.

Then it gets a little more interesting. The operation is called off by the CIA and a grateful Quinn returns home to his loving wife and little kiddy. But he's changed. Now he makes rough love to his wife and explodes with anger at unexpected moments -- just as Carlos would have done.

Sutherland visits him to tell him the caper is back on but Quinn is unwilling to go back to being Carlos, what with all those nasty habits. Sutherland tells him: "Listen, I don't have a family. I don't have any friends. The only people I've ever really cared about were the people I killed -- and you. I CREATED you." Quinn: "You didn't create me. You infected me with your poison." So, to bring Quinn back in, Sutherland threatens to have it booted about that Quinn is Carlos' double and someone, somewhere, somehow, sometime, will eliminate Quinn and the rest of his family. (This is known as "dirty pool.")

In the end, the plot works -- more or less. Quinn and his family wind up safe and suntanned, but I won't get into the somewhat convoluted ending.

Genre conventions aside -- oh, by "genre conventions" I refer to shootouts, falling bodies in slow motion, cars tumbling end over end, somebody falling onto a power line and disappearing in a fireworks display -- that sort of thing. Two people are going at it mano a mano and one of them bangs his forehead against his opponent's forehead, disabling the opponent and ignoring one of Newton's laws of motion. But genre conventions aside, the movie deals with an interesting problem. Well all occupy different roles at different times, don't we? We may be a spouse, a parent, an employee, an employer, a checker player, a stamp collector, a taxpayer, a member of the junior chamber of commerce, although I hope not, and so forth -- but not all at the same time. We occupy these roles one at a time, depending on circumstances. The anthropologist Ralph Linton distinguished between "active status", the one we occupy at the moment, and "latent statuses," those others we are capable of playing but for the moment have stashed away for use at some other time. During his respite, Quinn is having problems firming up his active status as the nice-guy naval officer, and suppressing his latent status as Carlos the sadistic maniac. This causes him and those around him considerable distress on the Little League Ballfield. We all have problems activating the proper role at some time or other, but the problems seldom reach the magnitude of Quinn's.

The acting is pretty good. I've always kind of like Quinn. He's not a bravura performer but he looks okay -- handsome, but not too handsome, if you know what I mean. His wife does well in a relatively small part, too, as well as anyone else in the flick. Ben Kingsley is great as an Israeli agent, waving his arms and speaking in Hebrew-tinted aphorisms. Donald Sutherland as CIA agent Jack Shaw should have been named Jack Epictetus. Every time something goes wrong, he shrugs it off in the most stoic of manners. "Well, the guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time," or whatever. He gives the juiciest performance too, a not-entirely morally upright kind of guy, though nominally on the right side. He's positively gleeful when our French allies attack Quinn and get murdered instead. Nothing is more likely to convince the KGB that our phony is for real than a failed attack by the French that leaves bodies behind.

The score is unremarkable. The production makes excellent use of location shooting. What passes for Beirut looks as if it ought to be Beirut. The weakest part of the movie is its script. The writers don't show much in the way of imagination. The dialogue has its good moments ("The only people I ever really cared about were the people I killed"), but is more often trite ("You didn't create me. You infected me with your poison"). The movie is above average for the genre, but it could have been better than that if the script had been spruced up. There are too many lines like, "I don't know who you are anymore." Ho hum.

But its weaknesses shouldn't be enough to keep one from watching this film which, after its expository opening, has the tension of a coiled spring.
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Good movie - better than The Jackal!
bob the moo25 September 2001
The Assignment is a solid thriller which is comparable with The Jackal in terms of story. However it is a much better film than it's big budget brother with better story and a more compelling sense of tension (and you don't have to put up with Richard Gere's wandering Irish accent).

Aidan Quinn is good in twin roles of Carlos and Ramirez, in particular portraying the way Ramirez changes during his training. Sutherland is as good as always - but in some scenes still has an element of hamminess about him, Kingsley is good but underused.

The story is more believable than The Jackal (if you can get past the fact that Carlos has an exact double!) with plot to get Carlos being more intelligence and espionage based than the gunplay solution of The Jackal. Indeed the story is what makes this film so interesting. There are only a few action scenes in the film but again are all tense, the scenes of terrorist attack are frightening but tend to linger of shots of extras with bad blood makeup (some horrors are more terrible if left to the viewers' imagination).

Overall, a tight little thriller that makes up in plot and acting what it lacks in star-power and budget.
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9/10
" Just close your eyes, think of England and make love to her "
thinker16918 March 2010
Throughout the world the unmistakable imprint of the American C.I.A. can be found in many a muddled mess they have left behind. In the beginning, their objectives were simple: spy, remove enemy agents, steal classified information and destabilize unfavorable governments. Years have elapse and although their mission remains similar, their clandestine black operations now include domestic spying, discrediting U.S. citizens and infiltrating American organizations who criticize the U.S. government. This movie however, centers on the C.I.A.'s world manhunt for the infamous 'Carlos, the Jackel.' The film is called " The Assignment " and tells the story Lt. Cmdr. Annibal Ramirez, (Aidan Quinn) a U.S. naval officer who bears a striking resemblance to the mastermind of so many terrorist bombings. Recruited by Jack Shaw (Donald Sutherland) of the C.I.A. and Amos (Ben Kingsley), a special agent from the Israeli Mosad, Ramirez is secretly trained to look, pose, infiltrate the elusive organization and to thereafter discredit the real Jackel working for the Russians. This film is Explosively exciting, and packed with wild chases, killings and inter-country mayhem. Quinn is wonderful and surprisingly artistic playing both sides of the war. Easily one of his best efforts. ****
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10/10
My favorite thriller
guruyaya2 February 2010
Every single thing about this movie works. Characters, setting, photography, special effects, action... everything. It's a must see for someone looking for a thrill, as well as a must see for someone who just wants to know how a character should be developed. One of the few movies, that actually takes the risk of making the good guys active, not just waiting for the bad guy to do bad stuff. One of the few movies, that takes the risk of showing how flawed his hero is, and yet keep him likable.

Don't miss it. It's not your regular action flick. It's the movie that will make you understand how action movie should be. It's a movie that will make you see the constant war on terror, in a new light.
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10/10
This Assignment Gets An A+
treeskier80228 May 2007
I'm a huge fan of the spy genre and this is one of the best of these films. The Assignment is based on a true story, which has been somewhat embellished for the big screen, and it really takes you on a fun ride. The film has a great cast, starring Aidan Quinn, Donald Sutherland and Ben Kingsley.

Naval Officer Quinn is a reluctantly recruited by Sutherland after a chance meeting with Kingsley who believes Quinn to be the famous terrorist Carlos the Jackal. Because Quinn so closely resembles Carlos, Sutherland stops at nothing to recruit him because Sutherland is obsessed with the terrorist's capture or death.

The training sequences are awesome. Quinn is really put to the test by Kingsley and Sutherland, having to withstand attacks from remote controlled snowmobiles, from eating the same food each day, to being drugged with a hallucinogen. He even has to learn how to make love to a woman the way Carlos would.

The film has some great action scenes with Quinn eluding allies because they believe he is Carlos and in his final mission when he is to kill the jackal. Throughout the film, Quinn must struggle with the new personality he has attained versus his own. Will he remain as ruthless and free as Carlos or will he once again return to his life of a good husband and father?

If you like the spy genre, this is a must see. The action is used only to propel the story of this thriller forward; no gratuitous explosions or fight scenes. Rating 10 of 10 stars.
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8/10
Great Spy Thriller
whpratt111 January 2006
Once I knew that Donald Sutherland, (Jack Shaw/Henry Fields) was appearing in this film it instantly told me this was going to be a good picture to view. Most of Sutherland's pictures are full of action and suspense and he can play a rather cruel character and can also be quite charming and kind. In this picture, Jack Shaw did his very best to be a good guy and a bad guy while he was training a Naval Office to become a spy who had to change his entire identity and become a different person over night. There is plenty of car chase scenes and plenty of stunt men situations which I would not want to perform. This Naval Officer lived in a quite community with his wife and was a father, but you would never realize that fact until the film reveals his horrible background secrets which he had to keep from his family and friends. Good spy film and great acting by all the actors.
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9/10
Solid action movie with interesting premise.
Lawson27 July 2002
This movie is about Carlos "The Jackal" (Quinn), an international terrorist who, by CIA agent Henry Fields's (Sutherland) description, appears to maim women and children for the heck of it. At least that's what he says to guilt US Naval Officer Annibal Ramirez (Quinn again) into taking on the assignment of posing as Carlos and setting him up as a traitor in the eyes of the KGB. Ramirez is apparently physically identical to Carlos but mentally he is his antithesis. He is borne of order and Carlos is borne of chaos.

The movie isn't all shoot-gun-jump-around action, and that's a good thing. In its first half, Ramirez undergoes training to act and think like Carlos, and that's actually where the movie achieves its distinction from other run-of-the-mill action flicks. An Israeli agent (Kingsley), joins Fields in training Ramirez, and together they appear to take on the roles of parents in the birthing of Ramirez's new character. Ramirez is taught to dislike the things Carlos dislikes, to act on the split second like Carlos would, and even to make love like Carlos (courtesy of an ex-girlfriend of Carlos's). Naturally all that he is taught would be put to good use in the later half of the movie. It's a little contrived but Quinn gives a riveting performance as a Carlos-wannabe.

Another thing I liked about this movie was that it didn't utilize the much overdone plot point in evil twin movies - you know, the one in which the evil twin insinuates himself into the good twin's family. Ramirez's family does come into the picture, but instead they highlight how his new character wrecks havoc on his family life.

Good chuckle humor is injected into this movie, often coming the acerbic duo of Sutherland and Kingsley. An exception is the overused and apparently gratuitous joke involving Ramirez's first name (Annibal, Annabelle, get it?). Also overdone was the constant harping by the duo about how powerful and cunning and intelligent Carlos is. In my opinion, during the final showdown, the payoff wasn't able to match the build-up.

On the whole, the movie was enjoyable. I'm not a big action flick fan but this movie was more intelligent and engrossing than the average action movie and it maintained my attention throughout.

My rating: 9/10
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10/10
An Over-looked Espionage Gem
g0b07 July 2002
This movie was over-shadowed by 'The Jackal' (Bruce Willis, Richard Gere) which was released the same year. Having seen both films, I can honestly say this is the superior film.

Granted, the production value of 'The Jackal' was very good, it probably had a substantially bigger budget. However, 'The Assignment' is well written and has a fascinating story. Aiden Quinn is flawless in dual roles. Aiden Quinn and director Christian Duguay did a great job of establishing a deep and multi-layered relationship between the title character and his family. I particularly liked the ending.

I was reminded of the Jack Ryan character in the Tom Clancy movies. Both are Naval officers thrown into unbelievably dangerous roles as they covertly work on behalf of National security. And yet, both Harrison Ford and Aidan Quinn reveal their respective characters as heros who manage to be both virile and gentle. They have a genuine tenderness and vulnerability in their relationships with their families.

What I don't understand is how the opinions of all who have posted on this movie (myself included) can be so much more positive than the luke-warm reception the film has received. This is a movie that has enough complexity and subtlety that it remains compelling after multiple viewings. If you are a fan of espionage-genre films, I recommend 'The Assignment' enthusiastically.
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