The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

The Long Kiss Goodnight is a frustrating viewing experience because it constantly flirts with becoming a better movie than it actually is. The foul-mouthed, funny, and noir-ish screenplay from scribe Shane Black is worth every dollar of the reported $4 million he was paid for the work. The aggressive direction from Renny Harlin works in bringing life to the story set in the dead of winter, but the film never really gels in a satisfying manner. That no fault of star Genna Davis, who brings beauty, athleticism, and levity to an outlandish character and story.

Suburban mom Samantha Cane (Geena Davis) is a doting mother to her 8-year-old daughter and an ideal mate for her milquetoast boyfriend. Sam washed up on a beach 8 years ago pregnant and suffering from amnesia. She has no clue that she is, in fact, a C.I.A. assassin named Charley Baltimore whose former enemies are now aware of her existence. As she deals with her memory coming back Sam/Charley resorts to her killer instincts to protect her family, kill the bad guys, and find out just how she was betrayed in the first place.

If all that sounds complicated that’s because it is. The Long Kiss Goodnight takes two full hours to tell a convoluted story, but contained within are some captivating stunt sequences and shoot-outs. However, that type of stuff is so commonplace in 1990’s era action films that there is nothing distinguished or remarkable about this picture. The Long Kiss Goodnight amounts to a lot of effort over a very minor story.

Director: Renny Harlin
Stars: Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Malahide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *