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The assignment

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Carlos "The Jackal" Sanchez. For decades the name was enough to evoke fear in any country around the world. A master terrorist with an ice-cold heart. An international gun for hire who took pleasure in killing and maiming the innocent. A planter of bombs and perpetrator of violence across the Middle East and Europe, he always escaped capture.

Enter Annibal Ramirez (Aidan Quinn), an upstanding American naval officer and family man who has nothing in common with Carlos, except one thing: his face. This chance physical coincidence nearly gets Annibal killed when he is picked up by a Mossad agent while travelling as a tourist in Israel.

This potentially embarrassing mistake turns out to be an irresistible opportunity for the intelligence communities when they realise the valuable weapon they have in their hands. CIA agent Jack Shaw (Donald Sutherland) and his Israeli counterpart, Amos (Ben Kingsley), realise they can use Ramirez to impersonate Carlos and draw the real killer out of hiding and into their trap. All they have to do is transform the loving, moral father and honourable soldier into the world's most vicious terrorist.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Blood, guts, action, violence, sex and lots of that faux military/spy stuff they like putting into films.

You will know by now that I don't like anything Aidan Quinn's done in the past few years and this film is no exception. Donald Sutherland and Ben Kingsley are also completely uninspiring in their roles but their accountants were probably rather pleased that they took the job.

While it's not going to win anyone any awards, The assignment is still an entertaining enough film: good enough to watch on a Saturday night. this is a good one for boofy blokes and their boofy girlfriends because there's lots going on and if you ignore the holes in the plot, it's really quite exciting.

Cinephiles might like to compare it to Bruce Willis's version called The Jackal.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level violence, medium level coarse language, sexual references)

Surveillance time

119 mintues (1:59 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

14 May 1998

Cinema surveillance images

The assignment image

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