The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) Poster

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A Ballistic Buddy Movie
RetroRoger13 September 2004
Warning: 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. Jackson.

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.'
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You Either Love it or Hate it
dbborroughs5 June 2004
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.
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Clever dialogue gets me every time (no spoilers)
lmysliwiec17 August 2004
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!
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MORE than a GREAT action film
Bob-4530 November 1999
Warning: 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 and 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 Hollywood. 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 touching. 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, pregnant, suffering 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 dead. 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 tracks? 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 d**k!" 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".
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Definite must see for all action fans.
julyan16 July 1999
Warning: Spoilers
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 a film. 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.
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The perfect blend of Action, Suspense, Drama and Comedy
Doctor Cheesius11 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I hadn't planned on leaving a review, but seeing some of the other dreadful reviews for this movie, I had to say something.

I'm not going to give away the ending or anything, but I do give away some important plot points in this review, so you should be aware of that. The short (non-spoiler) version of my review - Samuel L. Jackson and Geena Davis both kick butt in this movie, and it's a lot of fun. Watch it.

This movie is one of my favorites of all time. Geena Davis is perfect as the action heroine, torn between her existing life as a housewife and mother, and the memories that are resurfacing of her former life as a CIA Assassin. Her performance is superb as she plays both facets of this relatively complex character perfectly.

Samuel L. Jackson's performance is, as always, also excellent, as the Private Investigator that Geena Davis' character hired to look into her forgotten past. He does a great job of playing the unwitting sidekick to Geena Davis' tough character. Some of the lines he utters in this movie are the best he's ever used in any movie he's been in.

Seriously, if you haven't seen it, do. It's a fantastic story with lots of unexpected twists and turns, and it's extremely well directed and acted.
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The Anti-Formula Formula
BroadswordCallinDannyBoy28 September 2008
There is a serious scene in this movie. A scene that lets you know that his film won't be pulling many cheap punches. It takes place in a crowded train station and the protagonists are ambushed by assassins with automatic weapons. They make a break for it and just manage to get out in a hail of gunfire. The main hall of the train station is now filled with corpses of innocent people that were caught in the crossfire. Some would call that too sad and/or grim to put into what is supposed to be an enjoyable action flick. I call it honesty. Most action movies tend to lean toward the "safe side" of showing violence and plot elements. This mostly means that in spite massive shootouts innocent people tend not to die or at least we don't see them die. The violence is all purely the good guys versus the bad guys with mainly the bad guys dying. A bit of common sense clearly shows this to be absurd.

Renny Harlin showed a hint of this in his first (and sadly only) hit, Die Hard 2. The villains intentionally crash a plane full of people to get their point across. The scene was also filmed with a backup scene of a cargo plane with only a few people on-board going down, but the grimmer and probably more realistic scenario ended up being used. However, to fit the spirit of the first film, Die Hard 2 was mostly a "fun action movie." Here, that grimmer and more convincing edge is pervasive. The violence is bloody. The one liners are hilarious, but with a certain style that more echoes natural human sarcasm than clichéd film wisecracks at key moments of action. The plot is also packed with more malicious intent than most action films. The villain is not just some rogue out for revenge or a mad grab at power. It is less ridiculous, but also more frightening than that. From recent films, the "Bourne" trilogy almost gets there with its less cheesy than usual action film style, but this film is from 1996 and 7 years before "The Bourne Identity" with Matt Damon made it to the big screen.

Another interesting aspect is that the main hero is actually a heroine. And this is well before the movie version of "Tomb Raider" became a hit. What's more is that this heroine genuinely looks like she could take down John McClane and then take his still lit cigarette. This movie marks Geena Davis's second action-heroine role and she still didn't manage to score a hit. While Angelina Jolie stars in "Tomb Raider" years later and scores a hit. The reasons are beyond me. Completely.

Lastly, this movie isn't all dark edged. There are many outrageous and spectacular set pieces that one can only see in an action film. The climatic explosion of a chemical bomb is an absolutely spectacular display of movie pyrotechnics, with more than one law of physics taking a convenient break. Thus, there is formula here, but it is the Anti-Formula for the everyday Hollywood Action Movie Formula. --- 9/10

BsCDb Classification: 13+ --- violence, profanity
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High octane, bug budget action thriller. Very entertaining nonetheless.
Silverzero9 March 2003
"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.
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So Underrated Yet So Great
harlanlovestone8 June 2006
I have seen this film probably a dozen times since it was originally released theatrically. Anyone who calls this movie trash or horrible just doesn't understand action films or recognize a good one. Perhaps to some the incidents and outcomes may seem far fetched, but in my opinion screenwriter Shane Black ( Lethal Weapon/ Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) crafted one of the most well thought out action adventures you will ever come across. Over the top or not this film flows like clockwork and the action just keeps coming. The final action sequence is one of the best I have ever seen in any film. The cast in this film crackles. Genna Davis gave a tremendous performance and its a damn shame there was never a "LKG" sequel. Samuel L. Jackson is hilarious as her sidekick Mitch a down on his luck private eye trying to help her discover her lost past and make a few bucks. If Baffles me how anyone could not like this film. It packs so many thrills and its so funny. The wisecracks in this film still make me laugh just as hard 10 years later. In my mind the first Matrix film and the Long Kiss Goodnight were easily 2 of the best and most original action flicks of the 90's. Incidentally Shane Black made a fortune when he sold this script. At the time it was the highest selling screenplay and its worth every penny. It's so sad that audiences never gave this movie a chance, cause they would have witnessed Renny Harlins best film and Genna Davis like you have never seen her before. Long live "The Long Kiss Goodnight"!!
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Enjoyable Thriller
White Dolphin5 April 2001
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.
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Sit back and enjoy the ride
frog66317 January 2004
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 never 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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MUCH better than you'd expect
Spleen13 August 2000
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.
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A Great Film
blissfilm29 December 2007
I disagree with the reviewer who said this film is not for the "cerebrally-minded." I happen to be somewhat the cerebral type, and I think this is a great film; I love it and have seen it many times.

For me, the great things about this film add up to a woman with a full-on assertive, resourceful personality. Of course the drama is all about the wonderful mother and teacher discovering something else true about herself - and learning to merge the two once she "remembers herself." In the end, her love for her daughter and the tender nurturing person she is merges with the resourceful assertive person who is willing to fight and not give up. Even her daughter has taken on the "don't give up" when Mom is down. I would think there's a part in many of us women that can relate to all of this. And that might explain the box office failure and the rerun hit: women had to discover what I imagine was billed as a pure action film

Samuel L. Jackson is his own type of hero, flaws and all, and nobody could say enough about him. He's another complex character: down-to-earth with a street reality perspective, lower than the average poor man's detective and fairly desperate himself. And yet heroic in the clinch and full of his own kind of love and respect for what he values in women. He's just the man to take her on, and let her know when she's -not- okay. The characters pair in a sort of perfectly out-of-the-box way. So, this "cerebral type" says that this is great writing in terms of characters and storyline. And the violence is an integral part of those characters and story, not added flash or excitement that doesn't tell us anything about their lives or the urgency of their experiences.

And, last but not least, this is a comedy! Great dialogue (and I don't know who else could have played it like Jackson). So take that glitzy action as part of what makes a comedy work here!
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Yes, Have a Good Night
Derek Rushlow24 November 2005
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.
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Excitement, Entertainment & Escapism
seymourblack-19 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Action thrillers are designed to provide their audiences with excitement, entertainment and escapism and "The Long Kiss Goodnight" certainly meets all of these criteria. A sequence during which the movie's two main protagonists race down a corridor followed by a rapidly accelerating fireball and escape by leaping out of a high-level window exemplifies this perfectly, as the stunt, which is obviously far-fetched, is extremely exciting to watch as well as being laugh-out-loud funny. The stunts, explosions and chases in this film are all brilliantly staged and together with its very witty script and lively pace, contribute to an end product that's really enjoyable.

Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) is a schoolteacher in a small town in Pennsylvania who enjoys a very pleasant lifestyle with her good natured fiancé and her young daughter. Her only real problem is that she can't remember anything about her life before the occasion eight years earlier when she was found on a New Jersey beach suffering from amnesia. Things start to change however, after she's involved in a car crash and a blow to the head triggers some disturbing flashbacks and she suddenly displays a level of dexterity with a knife that leads her to believe that, in her previous life, she must've been a chef!!

Mitch Henessey (Samuel L Jackson), a private detective that Samantha had hired to check out her past, arrives at her house with some information just after she's been involved in a fight with a one-eyed convict who'd escaped from prison after seeing TV coverage of her taking part in her town's Christmas parade. This violent man obviously held her responsible for the loss of his eye and was out for revenge but the extraordinary combat skills that Samantha uses in subduing him shock both her and her fiancé.

Mitch's information leads to the discovery that, in her past, Samantha had been a government assassin called Charly Baltimore who'd succeeded in preventing some corrupt CIA personnel from detonating a bomb at Niagara Falls and blaming the atrocity on terrorists in order to elicit more funding from Congress. Unfortunately, Mitch and Samantha / Charly also learn that a new group is planning to carry out a similar attack and that, as they're seen as a threat to that group, their lives are in immediate danger. Their only option is to go on the run and this leads them into further violent encounters when amongst other things, Charly gets tortured, her daughter gets kidnapped and Mitch gets seriously injured.

Geena Davis and Samuel L Jackson work well individually and together in this movie. They make a great team as she excels in her role as an action heroine and he provides a whole series of marvellous one-liners. The humour that runs through the movie is also pivotal to its success because it makes the most unbelievable action sequences seem totally acceptable and induces its audience to cheerfully overlook inconvenient details such as how someone with no background and a made up name could've had the necessary formal qualifications to get a job as a schoolteacher. Similarly, the potentially negative impact of the film's high body count, strong violence and swearing is also successfully mitigated and made more acceptable because of its clever use of comedy.
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Geena rocks!
miken-324 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I had never heard of this film till it popped up on cable TV and I can't understand why. Geena outdoes Arnold as an action hero in this film! Geena is an ex-CIA assassin who is brainwashed and given an identity as a schoolteacher with a quiet family life in a rural town. She continues that life for 8 years with a husband and daughter. Clues start coming to her that she may have been someone else, especially when someone tries to kill her. It seems that her former employers have discovered that she never died and want to make sure that she does. She hires Samuel L. Jackson, who is a former police officer. Together they form a pair that is as entertaining as Mel Gibson & Danny Glover. When Geena finally regains her memory she undergoes a transformation into the killing machine she once was with the song "She's Not There" playing in the background. What follows is Geena and Samuel have to go after the bad guys and hopefully stay alive. All through the rest of the film Geena has to decide who she really is. The killing unfeeling machine? The mother/schoolteacher with the quiet family life? Or a combination of both? Especially, since the bad guys grab Geena's daughter. Great action scenes that rank up with any of the Die Hard movies!
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Very entertaining
timefreezer711 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
When I first saw the `Long Kiss Goodnight' I found it passable . Despite an intriguing premise and some good scenes , the movie was lowered down by an overdose of profanity and suffered from an unbelievably over the top ludicrous finale in which the leads are shot repeatedly without dying (Halloween 's Michael Myers would envy them) and a stream of improbable cartoonish action scenes that made Starship Troopers seem like a serious and realistic documentary !!! This film was way too campy to like it . It may have had a good start but the final 20 minutes just killed it . Oh well it was a fun ride I guess for its most part and it was nice seeing Geena Davis achieving a great performance . Repeated viewings improved my opinion about the movie . Not much , but sensibly . Although the finale is still unbearable the whole plot is much more comprehensible and a few of my questions were answered .

Let's start with a plot outline . The basic concept alone is very fascinating . Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) is a young teacher who lives in a quiet little town . She suffers from amnesia and the only thing she remembers is the last 8 years of her life . There are no tracks of any other family , husband , employment or any hint of her past for that matter . When she woke up in a hospital 8 years ago she was pregnant but of course the child 's father is unknown to this date . The detectives she hired over the years couldn 't find anything . Samantha seems to have settled down with her new adapted life . She is an active member of the PTA , she has friends, she is a good cook and bakes cookies , her 7 year old daughter Caitlin (Yvonne Zima) is a cute and obedient child and for the last couple of years Samantha is seeing a calm ordinary little guy called Hal (Tom Amandes) . Hal and she are getting along and it seems that wedding bells will ring soon enough . Until one day when Samantha shows some strange features of behaviour as if she has a split personality . Samantha has visions of a blond woman named Charlie who speaks to her in her dreams , summoning her to `join' her . You have already seen the props or probably know the story , so I don 't think that I will give away anything by saying that Charlene `Charlie' Baltimor is Samantha 's real name and she had an entirely different identity pre-amnesia . Charlie was a blond bitch , a rough tough mean killing machine . She was a trained professional assassin working for the government . After she had amnesia she was presumed dead and not even the powers that be knew she was alive . Unbeknownst to her , there are people who still want super agent Charlie (Samantha) dead . The first is an ugly bald convict called Jack and the other one is a young but ruthless criminal called Timothy (Craig Bierko) . Soon they track down Samantha and a killing expedition begins . Samantha's latest detective was Mitch Henessey (Samuel Jackson) a cheap loser who stages fake adultery incidents to make a living out of blackmails since his business has soared out . Much to his good luck however , he finds some clues about his amnesiac client which seem to point to a former fiancé Charlie once had . So Samantha and Mitch take a journey to find clues about Charlie 's past while a small army of bounty hunters is behind them . Meanwhile , Samantha 's alter ego emerges slowly but steadily .

There are a couple of twists which make the movie interesting . The idea behind the script is very good and I believe the handling made by the writers and the director was competent . The progressing personality change and the flashbacks are nice and give a few hints of a psychological thriller as well as some biting `funny' scenes like the `professional chef' vegetables chopping or the scene where Charlie dispatches her torturer . I believe however that 75 % of the success of not only Samantha's depiction but the whole movie as well , is accomplished by Geena Davis . She gives a splendid performance pushing both of her character 's aspects to the edge . As Samantha , Davis performs her best Shelley Long impersonation . The sweet , ideal muffin-baking housewife who is born to run a house and raise kids . Charlie is the agile , shrewd , chain-smoking , gun toting female Rambo . Davis is more than adequate as both characters . Samuel Jackson is very amusing as the detective who gets caught in a situation he can't handle , with powerful criminals popping out of nowhere wanting to kill them and at the same time watching a clean suburban housewife being transformed to a fatal blonde agent . He spouts way too many vulgarities but nonetheless some laughs are inevitable . Something else that saves the movie from being another forgettable shootemup are the cameos . First we have Brian Cox playing excellently an old agent who wants to help Samantha dig up her true identity . He is the reliable mentor and although he is old he still seems capable of getting the hang of weapons . Now , what can I say about David Morse as Luke , Charlie 's old fiancé ? Words fail to describe him . The man is just COOL !!! He appears shortly but his contribution to the movie is huge . The rest of the cast is passable like Samantha 's daughter , Charlie 's former boss or Hal who has a short role as the boyfriend . Craig Bierko as the main villain Timothy acts very well too . He is quite realistic as a hitman/terrorist who simply wants to complete the mission and behaves as an `ordinary' killer , with no psychotic laughs or morphasms . Despite his young looks he is quite threatening . Harlin also directed some unforgettable action scenes like the one you have all seen in the trailers : Davis firing on the icy surface of a lake while jumping off a window . There is also a memorable scene with a takeover of a Phone Station and others . I would also like to state that one viewing is not enough and you may lose some details . For example I didn't notice what was the fate of the deer at the beginning and I certainly didn't remember some hints on Mitch 's past .

The movie has some problems . There are some very corny one-liners and too much swearing at times . There are also some plot holes . People tend to be extremely cruel to the scriptwriters of Halloween H20 about where did Jamie Lee Curtis find the time to raise a 17 year old son , be a member of AA , attend psychiatrists AND be the headmistress of a private boarding school but how on earth did Samantha become a TEACHER (and raise her daughter) while she didn 't remember her past , seems to have escaped you . At least Laurie Strode did go to college . Secondly it is obvious that the conspiracy described in the script was huge . They would never EVER take the chances of being exposed therefore Mitch 's family would have been murdered at a glimpse (and Samantha's beloved ones as well) . But what really gives on my nerves is the unspeakable ending . Be warned that there are SPOILERS TO FOLLOW ******* After Davis blows up the building , Mitch not only is blown up in an impossibly cartoonish manner but he hits badly on a tree and eventually he lands on earth , UNTIED and without ANY injuries !!!!! That 's not the worst though . Later Davis drives the track full of explosives through a brick wall . Maybe , just maybe we can accept the fact that the explosives couldn 't be detonated until the countdown concluded but after this nasty accident Davis and the girl also don 't have the slightest injury . Lastly a shootout battle follows and Davis survives despite the bullets she gets and the bleeding . WHAT THE HELL ???? ******END SPOILERS . I still cannot digest the final 15 minutes (except of course for the nice showdown between Timothy and Samantha ) . If I had the power I would have reshot the whole denouement . I know that it cannot be done but at least an editor could have hacked the crappy stuff and left us with less bang-bang which would have at least make the survival of Charlie convincing. I am really not a nitpicker . I can always accept a campy scene . All of us regard Batman (1989) as a classic , although the Batwing being gunned down with just one shot by the Joker is laughable . Goldeneye (1995) with Pierce Brosnan is also a solid action film even if it contains a corny action scene in the prologue (you know what I mean) . But in here there are improbabilities which just PILE UP and almost ruin the whole thing.

The Long Kiss Goodnight is a good action film with an engaging premise , some funny gags , satisfactory (for the most part) direction and some brilliant performances. The last 15 minutes spoil the whole thing though so I cannot consider it a classic . If however you want a blockbuster for a fun Saturday evening then rent it . There is some healthy entertainment in this Renny Harlin action fest .

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Greatest female action actor -ever- bar none
ajw425 February 2002
I have always liked a good action movie with a woman lead, Linda Hamilton comes to mind in the Terminator series, of course Sigourney Weaver in the Alien series, and Laura Linney in The Congo,(another one of the Micheal Crichton renditions) was an excellent strong female in an action movie. But none can even come close to Geena Davis in "The Long Kiss Goodnight". She quite simply blew me away ( as well as an incredible amount of bad guys) with the way she "handled her business" in this flick. I gotta tell ya- I will love this woman forever as the result of scenes from this movie-like when jumping from what? six-seven flights up, simultaneously firing an automatic weapon in a circular pattern in order to break a hole through a frozen lake surface-at the same time dragging an incredulous Sam Jackson out the window with her. Yo, this woman, this movie is the Boom Diggie!! I could probably go on extolling this movie for at least 25 to 30 thousand words, but you know, I'd rather look at this movie than write about it, so I'm off. My advice to you is go rent Stuart Little, in case you're one of those weirdos that don't have your own personal copy at home, then follow it up with Cutthroat Island and then finish your evening with "Long Kiss Goodnight" and I guarantee you it will take every bit of will you've got in ya to keep from stalking this woman-not to mention I only found out today she was born on the exact same date as my own, 1/21/56-an Aquarius on top of everything. (Getting a little weird on ya but I had to find some way to throw that in)Don't worry Geena I am happily married with a houseful of happy Geena fans at home right now watching Mr Little! To anyone who hasn't had the pleasure, get out there and rent this film today- you will not be disappointed-to say the least! Finally-you match up Arnold vs Geena based on this movie-and you gotta go with Geena Davis-hands down- This babe is bad!This flick is sweet!
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Bourne Identity with a Woman but better!
haskala11 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I saw all of the Bourne Identity movies and enjoyed every one of them. However this movie, I am afraid beats all of them. Geena Davis should have received an Oscar for her performance in this one. But how in the world did the makers of this movie allow for the Bourne series to rip off this movie big time.....? Amnesiac assassin comes back with all skills intact and weirds out the ones who trained and equipped her. What in the world was the difference except a better plot? I did not think that Geena Davis could do this but she did. I recently saw a League of Their Own with my wife and She and I enjoyed it and then I saw this one and I was completely surprised with this edge of the seat performance and plot.

please comment on this folks...please? I know the writer got 3 million dollars for this but come on fair is fair.

Thank you.
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Excellent example of the genre (action/comedy, people!)
Scott741128 July 2013
I've read the reviews which panned this movie because it is unrealistic (as opposed to, say...Star Wars, the Bond franchise, the Bourne franchise, Dusk Till Dawn, Indiana Jones, name it).

I've read that there's too much action, not enough plot (but Fast and Furious number X is knocking 'em dead at the box office--and the "plot" is...?) I've read that amnesia doesn't work that way (but Bourne and Memento were okay--how about the old B&W classic Random Harvest?). Me, I never watched the thing for a lesson in abnormal psychology or traumatic amnesia, and I didn't watch Bruce Willis and Steve Buscemi fly out to an approaching asteroid to learn about space science or well drilling technology, or even Physics 101 (you want realism, the fragments would have destroyed planet Earth, The End).

I've read that our or our allied governments would never stage or allow a contract false flag or large scale pre-emptive attack as portrayed by Chapter, in TLKGN (but it was okay in Three Days of the Condor, or in the Tonkin Gulf and a dozen other more recent historical actual events, for that matter).

This is nonsense. Someone very high up didn't like the premise and Hollywood came down hard on Shane Black's story (perhaps because they were planning something very like that). It was action/comedy not dissimilar to the Die Hard, etc. franchise, but it was made an example of. If you want to watch a realistic documentary-style production featuring intelligence agencies, then watch The Company or a half-dozen other offerings, NOT an action/comedy romp full of explosions and some of the wittiest dialog since Gross Point Blank. I might just as well complain that documentaries and docu-dramas deserve a 1 out of 10 because they are not funny and move too slowly.

I give this movie (which I and my partner own and have watched many times just for the acting and darkly comedic dialog, timing, and delivery) a 10 on it's own merits. Not because some reviewers overseas found it too "Hollywood," or some thought it appealed to 14-year-olds (like 14-year-olds shouldn't be allowed movies aimed at them), or some refused to watch it yet still felt qualified to vote and express an opinion, all the other usual suspect reasons for panning a movie and trying to sound outraged or intelligent, or whatever. Even Ebert was upset that the hero and heroine outran a fireball--see, they never put that in action/comedy movies because everyone knows it's impossible to outrun a fireball. (So what do we do, Rog, just end the movie there? They blew up, The End.)

Please, reviewers, if escapist Hollywood action/comedies are not your thing, stop reviewing stuff which offends your literal sensibilities, or which you did not bother to watch. Go review Heidi, or Wuthering Heights, or A River Runs Through it. But what's the point in comparing this sort of thing to Hitchcock and Bergman all the time? This movie is older than the age-group it was written for, and still stands out as a classic of its type (which includes Die Hard and Lethal Weapon). Ten out of ten.
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An action flick for viewers sick of vapid, special-effects spectacles
kandkspa27 September 2012
I won't try to push this movie too hard but I find it nearly impossible to believe it only rates 6+ stars. I think it's too touchy-feely for your average action fan and too violent from most rom-com connoisseurs. I guess it falls into that narrow gap reserved for thrillers with snappy dialogue and just a touch of seemingly far-fetched and yet ultimately believable romance. Although I am not the kind of moviegoer who enjoys repeat viewings of a film, I have seen this movie five times over the years and it still entertains me thoroughly. Certain bits of dialogue between the two main stars are unforgettable and quotable, and while the plot may be fairly hackneyed, it contains many elements of a classic tragedy – questions of identity, revenge, uncommon heroism, and self-sacrifice – which have stood the test of time. Beyond that, it ups the ante on most action films through the brilliant comic timing of Geena Davis and Samuel Jackson, its two main leads, who are both as brutal and nonchalant with each other as a couple of teenagers.

The one thing the movie clearly lacks is fancy special effects, but when a movie has great actors, great dialogue, and great fun, it hardly seems a deficiency.
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I really like this film
afortiorama5 September 2012
Perhaps there is spoiler here....

Everybody went wild for the Hunger Games this year, but films like Geena Davies ones, in particular this one and "Cutthroat Island", were way ahead as far as women assertiveness and freedom go. I see Geena Davies as the female Bruce Willis, she has that sardonic smile and look that make her film fun. Angeline Jolie is another of my favourite action heroins for the same reason.

My favourite line in the film is when she is locked up in an industrial refrigerator at -50C and her little daughter asks her "Are we going to die mummy?" and instead of the usual dribbling series of reassurances a mum would give she says "Noo!.... they are." I also like how when she still doesn't remember who she is she switches from nice sweet little teacher to quick kick ass spy reflexes without even knowing what she is doing.

In short this might not be an intellectual film but then again neither "Die hard *" are, and I find Geena Davies a quite good action actress.
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Waving the bloody shirt.
peterpants6625 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
When you put a combination like Renny Harlin and Shane Black together, you get the kind of action flick that's not only pulse-pounding, fully automatic machine gun funk, but also highly intriguing. This movie came out in 1996, a few years after the OKC bombing and the first WTC attack. The C.I.A had close involvement with both tragic events, the movie chronicles at least one if not both of those points, which are fact. Then the plot roles like this, Geena Davis is an assassin working for the C.I.A, she's almost caught and killed, but escapes. Has amnesia from a fall/gunshot wound, only to emerge and take on the life of a small town mommy, with no recollection of the thrill kill past she's lead. Samuel L. Jackson plays an ex-cop turned private eye with a hot tip on the past lives of G.D. It must be noted the Sam L. performance in this movie is nothing short of amazing, just about every line he has is absolutely awesome, "That's a duck not a dick", and his banter with Cox and Davis is great stuff. Budget cuts in the white house force the company to hire mercenaries to pull off a huge killing that will see the pockets of the elitists enlarged. Explosives are packed into a sixteen wheeler, with the intention of setting it off, on Christmas, in midtown America, AND it will be blamed on the Muslims, they've got a middle eastern guy on ice ready to plant near the scene. The F.B.I, A.T.F all of them got huge bonuses after both attacks on the WTC as well as the OKC bombing. Seriously, why does the C.I.A exist? Grab a book about the company and you'll find massive organization done in Latin America, the Middle East, everywhere, to topple governments and expand control. Their budgets swelled allowing covert operations to continue and expand. Destabilization politics, create the enemy, manufacture the lie, provide the solution. Top notch Harlin action with a great cast, crisp writing and much comedy, truly a great among greats, ten stars, doubleplusgood.
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Die Hard with a Difference
gcd7030 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Christmas Eve? The wrong place at the right time? Sound familiar? "The Long Kiss Goodnight" could quite easily have been a third sequel in the action series "Die Hard". Just substitute Bruce Willis for Geena Davis, put him in Niagara Falls where a group of 'black ops' are planning some terrorist activity and wammo, there you have it. And director Renny Harlin should be quite aware of the similarities.

Having helmed the second in the trilogy, "Die Harder", and being the man who directed Stallone's career resurrecting "Cliff Hanger", Harlin seems to be just the man for the job of guiding wife Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson (probably the hottest property in Hollywood at the moment) through their paces in this new action extravaganza, "The Long K.G.". Though if you ask New Line Cinema they may tend to disagree, after all they have been in court trying desperately to get out of a multi-film contract with Harlin and Davis after their "Cuthroat Island" did a big bellyflop.

Plot from Shane Black concerns a deadly femme (cross Sigourney Weaver's "Ripley" with Linda Hamilton's "Sarah Connor" and Anne Parillaud's "Nikita" and you might be close) whose severe amnesia has her believing she is a mild mannered school teacher from Pennsylvania, rather than a cold blooded assassin from the CIA. But when Charlene Elizabeth Baltimore finally remembers who she is............... well boom! You can guess the rest. In fact you really can guess the rest, as predictability sets in from here on. Hey, forget about that though, this flick ain't about storyline, its about action, and there's plenty of that to go around.

Harlin's experience in action pics shows as he sets up some fine pieces for our viewing pleasure, while both Davis, Jackson and the support cast get some good lines. Otherwise the leads aren't asked to do too much, and considering their acting capabilities (Davis in "The Accidental Tourist" and Jackson "Pulp Fiction") this is well below their standard. Samuel L. in particular seems to be finding it hard to shake off the shadow of Jules Winfield, the philosophical hit-man from "Pulp Fiction", that is if his opening scene is anything to go by. Some may call it homage, but I don't know about that. Mr. Jackson probably doesn't mind too much either way.

Special f/x are nothing short of top dollar, though editing may have been a tad under done. Cinematography is superb, hardly being able to miss with Niagara Falls as a target, while Harlin has used the end credits to throw in a sweeping, panoramic shot. Alan Silvestri provides the music.

In short, one can easily look past the numerous plot holes and enjoy a romping good time with invincible heroes, and two dimensional, obvious villains with too much charm and not enough brains.

Thursday, January 30, 1997 - Village Centre Melbourne
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What All the girls really thought!!
lol6013 February 2001
This film is a great rampage of action and comedy, it gets right in to it right from the start, there's no boring build up. The chemistry of the leading roles adds to the excitement and anticipation of the ending, even though my suspicions were not satisfied. The special effects worked brilliantly and were believable! Would have liked a different ending but it still had me reeling in emotions. The story line unfolds well however it is a film you have to watch from start to end carefully to pick up on all the details, to fully understand and get maximum enjoyment.
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