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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is by far my favorite action movie. But what makes it work is not
the elaborate Renny Harlin explosions and shoot-em-ups. It's the Shane
Black script and its deft delivery by Geena Davis and Samuel L.
The chemistry between the two principals merited a sequel. Thank God it was never made. Too much danger of marring the original.
'The Long Kiss' checkerboards from quotable scene to action scene to quotable scene and back again. Never a dull moment.
This has to be Jackson's funniest role ever, and the amazing thing is that he is playing one of the most normal characters of his career. No quirky Tarantino hit-man, super-cool Shaft, or borderline psycho soldier. In TLKG, Jackson is the everyman we identify with. The poor schmuck gets dragged along on this crazy woman's odyssey to uncover the dangerous secret of her past.
Though the story claims that Davis's character, Samantha Caine is suffering from amnesia, the writer and director treat her condition as if it were a multiple personality disorder.
Samantha Caine is not just a new identity taken by the amnesiac Charly Baltimore -- she is a separate, fully-developed personality. The traumas suffered by Samantha in the first half-hour of the movie help the submerged dissociate personality of Charly to emerge again.
The materials of her past life excavated by Jackson's detective Mitch Henessey facilitate Charly's resurfacing. Good timing, too, considering the target Samantha makes of herself.
But Charly has to fight herself to remain the dominant personality. One gathers from bits of dialogue that the warrior personality (Charly) developed after her father died and she was recruited by the "Chapter".
In the eight years Charly was buried in the psyche, though, her Samantha identity developed into the dominant personality. (She's even funnier that Charly.) This was probably due to becoming a mother, because it's the reunion with her daughter that breaks Charly's struggle to suppress Samantha, leading to their apparent integration by movie's end.
It's impossible to choose a "best quote" from this film:
"Now you're a sharpshooter?"
"I saved your ass. It was great!"
"Continue dying. Out."
"I sock 'em in the jaw and yell 'Pop goes the weasel'".
And a couple of dozen more, many too raunchy to quote here.
Geena Davis looks great, and comes off as an action hero without glossing over the fact she's turning forty. (Listen to Charley's history, do the math).
Fantastic soundtrack, too. Santana, Muddy Waters, Elvis, LaBelle, Marvin Gaye.
I give 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' a 9, only because I don't believe in a perfect 10. Seen it a dozen times, and it still stays fresh. Nice twisted holiday flick to place on your shelf next to 'It's A Wonderful Life.'
Definitely a movie for people who ask only to be entertained and who do
not over-think their movies.
Lots of action, lots of great dialogue (e.g. fun to quote), a little intrigue, and stuff blowing up all over the place. Samuel L Jackson and Geena Davis had great chemistry. Violent, but not gory. The fact that the female part was the competent action lead is a pleasant turn-about.
Have seen the movie more than a dozen times and still enjoy it enough to put it back in my favorite films rotation every 3 or 4 months. I initially rented the movie because Samuel L Jackson was in the film, but was caught up in the events surrounding Samantha's quest to regain her memory and have never looked back.
All you cerebral folks out there -- suspend disbelief for once, take yourself a little less seriously -- you might actually enjoy yourselves!
Not a box office success; no-one really knows why. It may have failed
simply because of its title. It looks as though you need a two-word
tough-guy title to attract a sufficient proportion of the idiot crowd - "Die
Hard", "Lethal Weapon", "Hard Weapon", "Die Lethal", etc. - talking about
"the long kiss goodnight" will get you nowhere. But for once Renny Harlin
has made a GOOD action movie. A large part of the reason for this lies in
the fact that the central character, Samantha, earns our affection and
interest early on. As she becomes Charly again, we're torn: we certainly
want Charly to thwart the bad guys, and all that; but we don't want her to
lose touch with Samantha in order to do so - even though we like Charly,
too. Geena Davis bestows all of her considerable charm on both halves of
the central character. Samuel L. Jackson plays second fiddle for a change.
It turns out he's good at it. That was a compliment.
Intelligent, far superior to anything in the "Die Hard" series - if I were more cynical I'd add, "it's not surprising that it didn't do well", but I don't really feel that way; it IS surprising that it didn't do well.
Why this movie did so poorly is beyond me. With movies like the Waterboy
and anything else Sandler does making millions, you have this true gem of
Geena Davis is radiant and I feel, convincing in a very physical action
role. Step aside Sigourney.
Samuel L. Jackson is and always an asset to what ever project he works on.
Sit back and enjoy. But with all movies of this genre ,place tongue firmly in cheek, because "WHOA", there's some stretching going on in here.
A true action fans delight. 8 out of 10.
A small-town schoolteacher (Geena Davis) slowly begins to realize that
she has suffered amnesia and really use to be a secret government
assassin! Soon, there are men after her and a small-time private
detective (Samuel L. Jackson).
This was action-packed, with some great special effects and really funny one-liners (especially from Jackson). Although the action may get a little silly at times, who cares? After all, aren't movies meant to be a good time?
Craig Bierko is fun as a ruthless villain. The movie itself was an all-around good time. Just don't expect to have to think too much about it because then, if you take it too seriously, then the movie actually won't be fun but stupid instead.
This movie doesn't deserve to be called stupid or any other bad name.
This is a film that in no way reflects the real world. Nothing in this film
makes any real world sense or has any real world logic. It operates entirely
in its own little world and your ability to accept it or not will determine
your love or hate for this film.
I love the film.
Somewhere at the very beginning I bought into the completely unreal premise of the hit woman regaining her memory as the past comes back to haunt her. There was a moment early on where I remember accepting that this was going to be one of those movies where the heroine was going to know nothing until it was needed, despite all logic that it wouldn't happen that way. "Oh its one of those films" I said to myself and was hooked as the film took off on a wild two hour chase.
This is an action film with brain and brawn as things follow there own internal logic and you actually have to pay attention to follow some of the twists and turns. I like this a great deal and am pleasantly surprised when I bump into people who feel the same way too. People either love it or hate it, if they've ever heard of it at all.
If you like action films this is a film to definitely try. You may not like it, but it certainly worth the effort to find out
And as always, leave reality at the door.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having read some of the criticisms of THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, I am
beginning to wonder if we all saw the same movie. There is NOTHING in this
film, NOTHING more implausible than anything in even the BEST James Bond
film. WHY would Daedalus (David Morse) be alone, when he is the head of a
terrorist syndicate? The answer is CLEARLY revealed in the movie. Why
doesn't Samuel Jackson bleed to death when he's shot? It's COLD
SNOWING, blood pressure drops and blood coagulates easier. My gosh, you
could have a similar criticism about Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in
TITANIC! I've watched TLKG FOUR times and I am still LOOKING for the
"plotholes" I keep hearing about, and I have marketed scripts in
I believe TLKG is the BEST action film ever made; the only thing which
comes close is DIE HARD! TLKG, while never dull, builds slowly to a virtual
nonstop crescendo of action. The music is both powerful and incredibly
The film has memorable performances, most notably, Geena Davis and Craig
Bierko. Bierko creates one of the screens most memorable villians. One
would have to go back to Russell Crowe in VIRTUOSITY, or Alan Rickman in
ROBIN HOOD or DIE HARD!
to find another as memorable (JAMES BOND producers take note!) But more
than this, the film transcends the genre of action film by it's underlying
themes of duality and femininity (not feminism).
Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) is a pretty typical 90s woman; a single
parent, a school teacher, a homeowner, and engaged to a pleasant, if bland,
fellow school teacher. Only one thing keeps Samantha's life from being
perfectly "normal." Eight years earlier Samantha woke up on a beach,
from a head wound and amnesia. For eight years, Samantha has been trying to
rediscover her past; she lives to regret that decision. For Samantha is
actually Charlie Baltimore, an assassin for the Central Intelligence Agency;
and the people who left her on that beach eight years before want her
Samantha begins a horrendous journey in which she risks not MORE than
her life. Samantha Caine risks losing her identity
forever in the person of Charlie Baltimore.
And Charlie? What a piece of work! Charlie Baltimore is the most
cold-blooded antihero I've ever seen in a movie. After all, what other
"hero" ever plotted to kill her own child to cover her
Charlie, short blond hair, angular figure, sexual predator, could have
easily have been a man. The "masculine" Charlie holds the "feminine"
Samantha in contempt. Yet, it is only by integrating "Samantha" and
"Charlie" that enables
Samantha/Charlie to prevail. This is more than the equivalent of "Jekyl"
needing "Hyde" or "Superman" needing "Clark Kent." This is about the
integration of the "masculine" and "feminine" sides in each of us to create
a "whole" identity.
No where is this integration more apparent than when "Charlie" wrecks the
truck containing the chemical bomb. "He/She" says "Well s***k my
IMMEDIATELY after that line, "Charlie" submerges into
"Samantha." But not the wimpy domestic of the early film.
A strong, self-reliant, but ultimately humanistic Samantha. One simply has
to experience THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT to understand this. This is one
excellent film, the only movie I've ever given a "10".
I was about to go to sleep while I flicked through the channels one last time and happened to catch the beginning of "The Long Kiss Goodnight"- perhaps I missed the first minute or two. But I remembered I had marked the movie to watch and thought what the heck- I'll watch. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed those two hours. The scene with the truck was definitely fun, and at the same time terrifying (as you know the purpose of the truck and who's in it, I won't spoil it for anyone). The humor was great too, and the acting of the four leads (Davis, Jackson, Zima and Bierko) was quite enjoyable- as is this entire film.
"The Long Kiss Goodnight" is an enjoyable and very cool action thriller, and
a career breakthrough for Geena Davis. The plot is very familiar to that of
The Bourne Identity but so what. The fight scenes are a real treat for the
eyes and the plotline is strong enough to keep you engaged for the 2 hours.
It's directed with a slick sense of style and avoids most action cliches. Geena Davis is great as an action chick and gets past her usual "good wife" role. Samuel L. Jackson is good as usual as the supporting player. The film's baddie is overly cheesy though and you can tell what's going to happen to him.
It breaks away from the usual run-of-the-mill actioners such as Commando and On Deadly Ground and is definetly one of the best actioners in years. Good fun and good popcorn entertainment. 7.4/10.
I feel extremely sad for some of the people who have been reviewing this
film. It is apparent that their standards are so high that they will
be able to enjoy a film just for enjoyment sake. Or, perhaps, their
enjoyment is derived from the act of picking films apart; looking for any
reason at all to dislike them?
The Long Kiss Goodnight is an action film, in every sense of the word. Sure, there are holes in the plot big enough to drive a semi through, but none of them are enough to stop the flow of the film itself. I have never been a big Geena Davis fan, but I was impressed with how she was able to create two very different characters, Samantha Cain and Charlie Baltimore. In my opinion, it wasn't even necessary to have changed her physical appearance to differentiate between the two...her acting was more than enough to do the trick.
More than anything else, though, this film was Craig Bierko's. In another's hands, the character of Timothy could've been just another interchangeable villain. His decision to play him with a more casual approach was just the right counterpoint to all of the action scenes. It isn't often that you find an actor who can express himself so well with just his facial expressions...point in case: the scene in the freezer with Charlie and her daughter. Where most films would've cluttered the moment of "revelation" with unnecessary dialogue, Bierko's eyes told the whole story.
The basic plot? Thin, to be truthful. A seemingly average housewife who suffers from amnesia slowly discovers that she had been an assassin. As her memory returns, so do the people who want the assassin dead. Is she really Samantha, the cookie baking housewife, or Charlie, the cold blooded assassin? Or maybe a little bit of both? For me, The Long Kiss Goodnight was an enjoyable journey to find out.
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