Thursday, December 17, 2009

Movie thriller - includes Sub Base Groton and hero LCDR

"The Assignment" (1997) - MPAA Rating: R - Action-Thriller starring Aidan Quinn as Lt. Cmdr. Annibal Ramirez/Carlos The Jackal, Donald Sutherland and Ben Kingsley. Distributor: Sony / Columbia - 115 min (US).

Unlike the majority of cartoonish, numbly unimaginative thrillers, this one's patient, smart, and believable, using character development in place of car chases, gun battles, and explosions, setting it easily a notch or two above its cliché- ridden brethren. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

----------------------------M.E. Review ----------

The action-packed movie (which certainly does include car chases, gun battles, and explosions) revolves around an American naval officer recruited by the CIA in an operation to eliminate his lookalike, infamous terrorist and Hugo Chavez's paisa Carlos The Jackal (Ilich Ramírez Sánchez).
Missing an action movie of this caliber for almost 12 years perlexed M.E. until learning it was a sleeper almost completely ignored by the public, albeit not for the reason alleged ---masquerading as a documentary about the real Carlos's capture. M.E. never got the impression the movie was supposed to more than entertaining fiction, and neither will you. A short movie trailer is available here.
The real reason for box office disappointment (U.S. gross of only $332,597 compared to Titanic $600,788,188, released later the same year) had more to do with natural female repulsion. The submarine factor turns out to be highly instrumental in causing such repulsion. Ironically, the unseen boomer gets barely more mention in the film than Groton, or Annibal Ramirez's gold dolphins.

Had this movie been released in 2010, on the eve of touted female assignments to boomer subs, it would probably never even have been made. No spoilers here. No wimps, either.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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