Last Job, The (2014)

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A reluctant hitman!
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UK / 25 minutes / color / Landa Dir & Scr & Cine: Luke Tedder Pr: Luke Tedder, Ben Probert Cast: Ben Probert, Erick Hayden, Rachel Marquez, Josh Reeve, Josh Probert, Luke Tedder, Lewis Dowton, Elliot Ward, Phil Probert, Charley Probert.

Detective Adam Fowler (Ben Probert) is leading the team investigating maverick cancer researcher Dr. Redgrove (Hayden). Shortly before the cops manage to nail Hayden for the deaths of fourteen of his experimental subjects, Adam discovers his wife Jane (Marquez) is suffering from terminal cancer. There’s a standoff at Redgrove’s home as the rogue scientist holds a gun to his own head and insists on a private conversation with Adam.

It’s not that maverick researcher Redgrove (Erick Hayden) is a nutcase or anything, honest.

Once they’re alone he makes Adam an offer:

Redgrove: “Here is your scenario. I will allow you to arrest me, I will even plead guilty to my crimes, and then I will save your wife.”
Adam: “In return for what?”
Redgrove: “You.”

The deal is that, as price for the curing of Jane, Adam must fake his own death and then function as Redgrove’s hitman, knocking off anyone who’s in a position to stop the legalization of Redgrove’s research or who simply knows too much about what’s going on.

Jane (Rachel Marquez) at the grave of her supposedly dead husband.

Two years pass during which Adam carries out hit after hit. Jane, believing herself a widow, remarries, this time to a man described by Redgrove as “the last key figure from the National Institute of Medicine who has openly opposed my research”: John Carmello (Josh Probert). And, sure enough, it’s John that’s assigned as Adam’s last job before Redgrove will let him retire.

Adam (Ben Probert, left) and McKenna (Josh Reeve) view the corpse of one of Redgrove’s victims.

There’s more. It turns out that Adam is only one of lots of hitmen employed by Redgrove. If Adam doesn’t kill John by 7.30pm tonight, Redgrove will order the others to take out not just John but Jane as well.

It’s what you might call the assassin’s dilemma.

John (Josh Probert), Jane’s new husband.

At the last moment, Adam decides he can’t kill John, who has brought so much love and happiness into Jane’s life. He locks the couple in their bedroom, then waits, gun in hand, for the arrival of what proves to be a whole battalion of heavily armed mercenaries . . .

As you’ll have guessed, plausibility is not this movie’s strong point. If Redgrove has confessed to multiple manslaughter, he’s hardly going to be left walking around as a free man. If his research is so perilous as to have such a high casualty rate, there’s no way on earth anyone is going to declare it legal. And where is his funding coming from, not just to employ a dozen or so professional assassins but for the research itself? And why haven’t cops like Detective McKenna (Reeve) and his nameless colleague (incorrectly named Fowler in the credits) (Tedder) noticed that anyone opposed to Redgrove is getting murdered? Come to that, why does it take them two years to ask for the autopsy report on Adam and discover it’s missing?

Director Luke Tedder as an unnamed police detective.

I could go on.

The movie is also let down by some of the acting. Rachel Marquez is very good as the (in fact bigamous) wife and Erick Hayden as the sociopathic researcher, while director Luke Tedder himself is fine in his fairly minor role as one of the police detectives, but there’s a bit of a gap between these three and the rest. None of the performances are downright rank, but there’s a definite air of amateurishness about them.

Jane (Rachel Marquez) is astounded by Adam’s reappearance.

Where The Last Job does score, however, is visually. Tedder’s cinematography tends to use a very shallow depth of field, and this has the effect of distancing his characters from each other: even when Adam and his best friend McKenna are talking to each other as they sit side-by-side in their cop car, when one face is in focus the other isn’t. Likewise, in an extremely nicely shot early sequence, as Jane lays flowers on Adam’s grave while he watches her from the far side of the cemetery, the alternating focus between the two emphasizes the vast rift between them now that Adam is “dead” and Jane has found new love elsewhere.

Another very effective sequence occurs as Adam moves in on John’s and Jane’s house with the intent, at that point, of killing John. We see John illuminated through the ground floor windows as he goes about checking the locks and catches for the night. Meanwhile, the hooded figure of Adam flits in silhouette across the illuminated areas like some sort of malevolent supernatural entity. It’s by no means an original sequence, but it’s far better done than the movie’s estimated budget of £50 (according to IMDB) would suggest.

Despite the fact that, from plot to performances, this is very evidently not a professional production, The Last Job is, I think, worth a quick look; it can be found here.

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8 thoughts on “Last Job, The (2014)

  1. I kind of skimmed this in the hope that you provided a link to it (yes – cheers!) – I do like my hit man books and films and 25 mins is not beyond me, even if I couldn’t miss your less than flattering opinion.

  2. Excellent coverage here John! It did have some moments indeed, though I had to turn away from that kitchen burner sequence!!

    • It seems people are in general more amenable to this movie than I am! I’ve been lucky with my neonoir shorts recently, so perhaps I was just being a bit overfinicky.

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