The Long Kiss Goodnight is obnoxious, loud, and dumb. In other words, most action movies of the 80s and 90s. It’s also hopelessly convoluted and botches its central premise—that of an amnesic suburban housewife who has forgotten that she used to be an assassin.
Starring Geena Davis—in her second collaboration with former husband Renny Harlin—as Samantha Caine (the innocent)/Charly Baltimore (the no-so-innocent), The Long Kiss Goodnight just isn’t equal to the sum of its parts. The supporting cast is great—boasting Samuel L. Jackson, Brian Cox, Craig Bierko, and David Morse, amongst others—and it was written by Shane Black, the literal master of this conceit (i.e. the mismatched action duo).
Even with those elements, it just never comes together. Sure, there are scenes that work, but not enough of them; and for an action film, its set pieces generally fall flat or down a drain at Niagara Falls, only to reappear unscathed.
Critics didn’t agree with our pod’s assessment. The film sits at 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences, though, were skeptical. It grossed just $89.5 million on a budget of $65. But, its failures set a nice template for future films and proved—however unnecessary it was to prove—that women can also kick ass.
So, sit back, set your sights on a Head Hunter IPA from Fat Head’s Brewery, and deal with the fact that life is pain! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are blowing shit up with Charly Baltimore and trying to remember exactly why we’re doing it!
This Week’s Segments:
- Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Was Davis’ second collaboration with Harlin better than the water logged dreck that was Cutthroat Island? (00:00)
- Lingering Questions – Shane Black loves Christmas, but what’s his best holiday-centered film? (47:08)
- The “Life is Pain” Trivia Challenge – After we hear a word from our brothers in beer, Hop Nation USA, Capt. Cash challenges the field to trivia about the movie. (1:10:46)
- Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week, and next up: We continue our “Hops and 00-Flops,” series with If Looks Could Kill! (1:20:53)
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