When star quality is a bad thing

March 27, 2017

Imagine a film starring Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shaloub, Anthony LaPaglia, and Michelle Rodriguez.  Directed by the guy who brought you 48 Hours and the Alien films.

Now imagine that that film is about a hitman who is forced to undergo a sex change.  Seriously. 

Michelle Rodriguez has not always been the most feminine of leading women, but she most definitely does not make a convincing man.  Even when you see her with a full beard, a hairy chest, and a sizeable phallus in the beginning of The Assignment.

Likewise, it’s not very realistic to see her post-op, with natural breasts and a feminine figure, but no scars.  The protagonist’s overly simple recovery from gender reassignment surgery suggests that the story is an allegory.  Or one big nightmare sequence.

Over and over again, you can’t help but ask, how or why did this film get made.  But as absurd as the movie is, I couldn’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t have been better with a different lead actor/actress.  Somebody who wouldn’t have been instantly recognized as a famous actress in a beard, or a famous actor with fake boobs.

If ever a film called for an unknown lead, of a non-specifc gender, then this would be it.  Without the expectations that come with a star cast, this film had the potential to be a Lynchian or Cronenbergian story in a post-Human Centipede world.  But without the well-known faces, it almost certainly wouldn’t have been made.