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The Long Kiss Goodnight


Trying to find a 90's action thriller that has aged well is pretty difficult. Most have fermented VERY badly, like 1996's THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT.

Written so broadly by Shane Black (Predator, Lethal Weapon) that it plays like a violent farce, it alternates between boring, absurd and ridiculous, with only a couple action scenes holding up for viewing today.

Geena Davis does what she can as Samantha Caine, a domestic goddess with amnesia who suddenly realizes she can kick everyone's ass without breaking a sweat. That comes in handy when a car full of stock bad guys arrive with guns on your patio.

Samuel L. Jackson is Mitch, a low rent detective who has been trying to track down Samantha, but has no idea what he's in for.

Few actors do incredulous humor better than Jackson and he slides in a few good zingers, but most of their dialogue lands with a hollow thud.

Director Renny Harlin knows how to turn out an exciting thriller (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) but he seems like he realizes how bad the screenplay is too, so he just throws everything at the screen he can find in a futile attempt to hold our interest. He and Davis were married at the time and he DOES always make sure she looks great, but she is a far superior actress to the pedestrian material.

Craig Bierko is badly miscast as a nasty villain, oozing so much macho charm and testosterone that he inspires more laughs than fear.

A massive box office failure at the time of its release, it's one of three films that nearly sunk New Line Studios.

Last year, Jackson said that his role here as Mitch was his all time favorite part. My rational mind cannot tell you one reason why that would be the case....

If you're looking for a big-budget, secret agent with amnesia, little daughter in peril, stereotypical action movie that captures 1996, this is your movie.

For me, the only word in the title that rings true is LONG......it gets an eye roll and a D.

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