What makes a good man?
Directed by Reem Morsi, The Last Mark tells the story of Keefe (Shawn Doyle), an aging and frustrated hitman who is beginning to lose his way. When a job goes wrong and a young witness escapes, Keefe abducts her and hides away in a safe house. Things become even more complicated when he realizes that his captive may be his estranged daughter. On the run from his maniacal associate (Bryce Hodgson), Keefe must figure out his next move to survive with witness in tow.
Underneath the tension between captor and captive lies a conversation about what makes a ‘good man’. Whereas he has lived his life intent on survival, the arrival of Peyton forces him to ask deeper questions. Having made his living as a professional killer, he has only viewed his line of work as a means to an end. Although he has no intent on harming Peyton, he has become numb to violence against others due to his profession. Even so, Peyton argues that Keefe’s desire to keep her safe isn’t what makes him a good man.
In this way, Doyle’s performance here offers some good character work. Throughout the film, we rarely excuse the violence of his career yet continue to sympathize with Keefe’s emotional journey. Even so, although Morsi asks a poignant question about the nature of masculinity, neither does he offer any particularly poignant answers. If Peyton is willing to see past Keefe’s behaviour, what qualities about him makes her willing to do so? Can one be considered a good man if they’re also willing to use violence? Although his story (mostly) works well and features some good work by its cast, Morsi’s film still doesn’t quite leave the Mark that one might hope for.
- Release Date: 4/1/2022