If films about assassins/clandestine service agents taking on a final job have taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t agree to a last job unless you’re prepared to fall in love with your target, or get soft in some other aspect, which forces you to disobey your employer’s orders. If you’re lucky, like Frank the Transporter or Joe the Bangkok Dangerous, the sacrifices you have to make along the way are offset by the amount of buttocks-whooping you get to unleash on those who would thwart you. If you’re not so blessed, like Leon the Professional, your compromises become impossible to undo. Jeffrey Goodman’s suspense-drama, “The Last Lullaby” (2008), puts its freelance killer in the company of the former.
Tom Sizemore plays Mr. Price, a retired hit man who can’t pass up a million dollars in exchange for eliminating a woman named Sarah (Sasha Alexander). He arrives in the small town where she works as a librarian, observes her, befriends her, and gains her trust. What initially seems like standard procedure for Mr. Price (getting close to the target and determining the best way to take care of business) steadily morphs into performance anxiety. Sarah isn’t like other assignments. She’s tough, knows how to use firearms, and arguably reminds Mr. Price a bit of himself. Soon enough, the assassin begins to develop a soft spot for the target and must keep both her and his employer from suspecting that something is amiss.
“The Last Lullaby” is admirable in its no-nonsense way of introducing its characters and setting up the story. The only plot twist comes to light in the final few scenes, and it’s neither too ridiculous nor too incredible. Goodman’s film is awfully reminiscent of a something you’d see on prime-time television, but I must confess, it’s great to see Tom Sizemore inflicting violence upon unsuspecting punks again.