The Long Kiss Goodnight 1996 Movie Scene Geena Davis as Samantha Caine (Charly) holding a sniper rifle she just assembled

The Long Kiss Goodnight [1996]

Ahh, the good old sturdy nineties action movies with great casts are the stuff I grew up on. The Long Kiss Goodnight may be a bit formulaic but it sure is entertaining just plain cool. Directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, Exorcist: The Beginning) and written by Shane Black (Lethal Weapons, The Monster Squad) it puts a twist on the usual action movie formula of the nineties. 

With the recent popularity of female characters that beat the crap out of everybody, here’s someone who can actually do it, the glorious Geena Davis. Zoe Saldana (Colombiana) and Angelina Jolie (Salt) look like chumps compared to her, and I hope that this trend of looks (looks!?) over overall strength will soon fade. We also have Samuel L. Jackson in a different type of role, a reluctant private investigator without the usual snarky remarks. The chemistry between the two is great and energetic. Brian Cox is also here with a similar role like in Chain Reaction, another nineties classic.

The Long Kiss Goodnight is a thrill ride, and you will be surely entertained by its qualities. Action and lots of gunfights – check; cheeky and unrated jokes – check; great stunts – check and this list could go on and on. This is an old-school action flick similar to Lethal Weapon or Die Hard. However, instead of one tough son of a bitch we got one tough bitch. It’s Shane Black righting some wrongs as he oftentimes disregarded female characters in his scripts. Something I talked about in The Last Boy Scout review. On a personal note, I think that the scene where she suddenly starts chopping vegetables faster will be seared into my mind ’till the day I die.

Samantha Caine is a homemaker in a small town, living with her husband Hal and daughter Caitlin. Suffering from amnesia she can remember only the last eight years of her life. She hired numerous detectives, but with no results until  Mitch Henessey, a shady PI uncovers something that might be of use. However, after she hits her head, some of the memories start flooding back. And with them a whole lot of danger.

So, The Long Kiss Goodnight took the story from Bourne, put a twist on it, and just went nuts with the action. The production values are top-notch along with stellar cinematography. Dozens and dozens of extras, car crashes and explosions, and big scenes will make you feel you’re watching something important. On top of all that, you have a very groovy soundtrack to add even more to the atmosphere. Again, this is one of those movies you can watch an infinite amount of times and still have fun. The pacing is relentless as we keep getting into more and more trouble.

Director: Renny Harlin

Writer: Shane Black

Cast: Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Yvonne Zima, Craig Bierko, Tom Amandes, Brian Cox, David Morse

Fun Facts: Geena Davis and then-husband director Renny Harlin checked how long she could hold her breath in their bathtub to prepare for the “water torture” scene.


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