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Big fun
with big guns

Geena Davis is a great action hero in an action thriller
Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson

"The Long Kiss Goodnight"
(Click on the images to see larger versions with credits.)

Reviewed by John Orr

So, I thought — after seeing that dreadful pirate movie — that there was NO WAY that Rene Harlin and Geena Davis could make a good movie together.

But, "The Long Kiss Goodnight" has proven me wrong.

I watched it on tape, long after it left the theaters, and even after the Davis-Harlin marriage broke up. And I loved it.

It's like a "Lethal Weapon" or "Die Hard" movie, except, instead of Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis, the star hero is a fabulous babe, played by Geena Davis.

Geena Davis Craig Bierko It's even got cute Christmas stuff and a cute little girl.

I mean, it's got everything I basically require in a shoot-'em-up, escapist film, AND, it does not entirely insult my intelligence.

It's a lot of fun.

I even bought the tape.

Uh, the story is ... there is this nice lady schoolteacher person, Samantha, who can't remember her past. Turns out she used to be a government-paid assassin, Charlene Baltimore, known as Charlie. Some creeps out of her past find her, and guns and bombs start going off all over the place.

She has already enlisted the aid of a low-rent private detective, played by Samuel L. Jackson, and they set off together on a buddy picture odyssey filled with great dialogue, jokes and gritty violence. Everybody gets dirty and the audience has a great time.

Geena Davis, Samuel L. JacksonGeena Davis is FABULOUS in the role — completely appealing as both Samantha and as Charlie Baltimore, and AT LEAST as competent at spy violence as Bruce or Mel or Arnie or even — GASP!!!! — Sean Connery.

No kidding. Geena Davis would make a MUCH better James Bond than that drink of water — what's his name? Oh yeah, Pierce Brosnan — who has the part now. Really. He was charming on TV, but ... loses something on the big screen.

Jackson is great and very appealing in the role, as usual for him. He and Davis are hilarious together, as well as great action heroes. Some of their scenes would be fun to describe for you, but it is better that you enjoy the surprise when you watch the film yourself.

Craig Bierko is the most interesting and amusing bad guy since Alan Rickman in "Die Hard," and Brian Cox and David Morse also add to the overall mix.

There IS one scene that doesn't work, when Charlene Baltimore loses her cool competence and starts crying. Ha!! She is stymied in a situation in which she could have found five or six easy solutions, but instead cries and lets her daughter solve the situation. This after we've already seen her be clever and resourceful 27 different ways from Sunday. (Also ... a bit of macho male obscenity that simply didn't fit the character. Maybe they will do a sequel with slightly better screenwriters; I hope so.)

But .. one (well, two) small flaw(s) in an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable action movie, a film that includes about 87 kajillion clever script thingies to entertain film buffs like me.

In the theater or on video?
I never saw it in a theater; too bad. I have enjoyed the tape at home many times.
DVD at
VHS at

See other information about "The Long Kiss Goodnight" at Internet Movie Data Base.