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Thursday, May 22, 2008

THE ASSIGNMENT (1997)

This action-oriented spy thriller stars Aidan Quinn, Ben Kingsley & Donald Sutherland, better than it deserves. Megger Christian Duguay shows some nice moves in the action sequences, but can’t make the basic plot & characterizations play at all. Who could? It’s the 1980s and Quinn’s Navy man just happens to be a natural double for Carlos, an infamous international terrorist with Russian ties. All Quinn need do is act out a scenario that makes it look as if he’s gone over to the other side and then let the KGB take care of the real Carlos. Not a bad hook for a spy yarn, but under Duguay the whole enterprise has a unintentional goofy feel to it, right up to the ultra-cynical, unearned triple-flipflop ending.

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