The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996): Breakdown by Rantbo
Suburban wet dream amnesiac mom finds out she’s a fuckin’ assassin and spends the rest of the movie hanging out with Sam Jackson and killing people.
Samantha Caine is a school teacher by day, a super mom by night, and a community PTA babe on the weekends. Her life is perfect, except for one little thing: she can only remember the past 8 years. Stricken with ‘focal retrograde amnesia’, she is left only to assume as to what her life used to entail. When she ‘woke up’ on a beach, she was near death and two months pregnant. And this is the story of her remembrance. And in an effort to entice you further, it has to do with spies, assassinations, terrorist plots and Samuel L. Jackson.
In the realm of action cinema, seeing a strong, competent, actually believable badass female heroine, is as rare as a good Renny Harlin movie, post—this movie… Which (I guess) is my way of saying, this is the last good action film by a once great director. But, he had some much needed help coming off the stinker that was CUTTHROAT ISLAND and received such in the form of a Shane Black $3 million screenplay. Black, who in my opinion is in line behind only Tarantino when it comes to clever, funny, on-the-spot witty dialogue and dare I say actually one-ups him when it comes to delivering classic shoot ‘em up, blow ‘em up, crack ‘em up action. Seriously, I have yet to see a Shane Black film that didn’t kick-start my testosterone with a steel-toed explosion to the funny bone. The man simply can do no wrong. And A LONG KISS GOODNIGHT was his self described baby. And for some odd and tragic reason (CUTTHROAT ISLAND) it failed theatrically and sent Shane away to a depression filled absence from Hollywood for almost 10 years.
You said it, Charly. It certainly wasn’t. LONG KISS is a fucking blast, from start to finish and easily one of the best in its genre during the 90s. It almost single-handedly kept the old school action film alive in the pussified decline of ballsy that was 1996 and beyond. Or at least it would have, had anyone bothered to see it. Fucking Will Smith.
The plot was also quite ahead of it’s time. Think Jason Bourne (only female and not a fucking pussy) resurfacing his lost super-spy memories and abilities, just in time to stop a group of corrupt government agents from staging a faux terrorist plot, for military funding. Blaming the estimated 4,000 American deaths on an Arab patsy. And no, this movie wasn’t made in 2002.
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Fucked up, huh? However, the film isn’t completely perfect. For instance, Charly’s little girl is pretty annoying, her lisp damn near insufferable. And—well, that’s pretty much it. LONG KISS is essentially what I’d call a 99%er. It’s simply good old fashioned ballsy action mixed with a sexy character piece and a dash of buddy-cop to lighten the mood for all the feminine abuse and blood gushing violence. Are you sold yet?
[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]
Geena Davis is Samantha Caine is Charlene ‘Charly’ Elizabeth Baltimore
“Back when we first met, you were like “Awe phooey! I burned the darn muffins”, and NOW—you go into a bar, 10 minutes later, sailors come running out!”
At some point during the early 90s, it appears as though a wild hair began to grow, deep within Geena’s supple, plump ass, the root of which entangled around a hidden urge to become the next Sigourney Weaver. Both actresses are tall, awkwardly attractive Amazonian female intimidation machines, so naturally Hollywood seemed willing to give it a shot. Unfortunately for her, the result was CUTTHROAT ISLAND and THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT. Two movies, one of which sucked and both of which made no fuckin’ money. ~BANG!-FUCK!~ Her dream was dead. And her heroine hair was plucked out by the vicious tweezers of audience apathy. But as you well know, from my above praise, her foray into the action realm was not all in vain.
Charly could easily be a contender for the baddest mamma-jamma in action cinema. I mean, see’s essentially Riggs from LETHAL WEAPON, but female and happened to choose working for the government as an assassin, instead of a detective and Ripley from ALIENS except on Earth and killing rogue spooks instead of—aliens AND there’s also a bit of James Bond in there for good measure. In short, she’s a sexy, shooting, neck-snapping, ice-skating, foxy bitch.
Samuel L. Jackson is Mitch Henessey
“Dun – DUN – Da – Dunt, got me a handgun. Dun – DUN – Da – Dunt, got a rifle too. Dun – DUN – Da – Dunt, anybody fuck with Mitch, he know just what to do—‘Cuz I’m a—Bad motherfucker…”
Hard drinking, hard smoking, hard talkin’. Sam Jackson IS the man. Continuing his run of awesome from DIE HARD: WITH A VENGEANCE and PULP FICTION, Sam solidified his moniker as Hollywood’s go-to Bad-Ass-Mother-Fucker with Mitch Henessey. Hennessey’s a private dick that lives up to his professional title. But in a good way. Between his legitimate cases, Mitch spends his time hiring bums to pose as his back-up in bogus vice raids-turned blackmail cover-ups for extra cash. But aside from extorting scumbags, Mitch is a good man in a shit world just trying to get by with what he has left. Which is namely a sharp tongue and great retro wardrobe. With Shane Black’s stellar smart-ass dialogue and Jackson’s impeccable delivery, Mitch is always just one revolver spin away from pumping my nads to max capacity.
[THE BODY COUNT: 50+ AND A DEER]
The sexy homemaker herself cashes in on an even 30, with her sidekick Mitch pickin’ off the scraps and cleaning up another 5 traitorous scum. The head badguy, Tim, takes out only one, but his crew and confidants round up another 12 mostly innocent bystanders. The other couple belong to a kill by Brian Cox’s character, Nathan, and a random relative of Sam’s that gets taken out by a deer in a head on collision. Oh, and Sam kills the deer in revenge. Just kidding, she mercy kills the poor beast. Yet, oddly enough, leaves her kin to roast in the pits of a front cab fire. Funny. Guess he gave one drunken titty grab too many, huh?
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]
Samantha vs. One-Eyed Jack
After seeing the sexy Mrs. Claus from his past on a prison television set, Jack goes apeshit and breaks out. Couple nights later he’s on Samantha’s doorstep and knocking on the door with an assault shotgun. After beating up the man of the house, and taking a pot-shot at the kid, Sam’s assassination instincts kick in. Well, after he softens her up by bouncing her around the kitchen. But Sam gets in touch with her inner Charly and creams ol’ Jack—literally.
Them pie-filled glass dishes is a bitch, eh? Talk about ‘just desserts’. Then she snaps his neck and licks the blood of her finger tips. “Chefs do that.”
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Sam: You thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?
Mitch: I HOPE NOT, ‘cuz I’m thinkin’ about how much my balls hurt!
Sam: …I know that he has a pin in his leg—car accident, I—I know that he cuts his own hair, he doesn’t even OWN a TV, he—he sits down when he pees…
Mitch: Hey, hey, HEY! That’s enough, I’m getting’ a boner here, all right?
So, yeah. There really isn’t any outside of a sometimes shirtless Samuel and his penchant for penile vernacular. But really, what more do you need than that!?
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
Sam: Since you almost just ran us off the road, I’m wondering, what it is you take away from an experience like that? Don’t get me wrong, I mean I’m SURE that it’s very enriching in some way—and, and I know that she was probably VERY moved by having some asshole hang out the window and go “Woo-Hoo!”
Mitch: Hey, hey, hey, I didn’t hang out the window and go “Woo-Woo-Woo!”, I checked out her form, OK? If it’s any consolation, you got her beat—hands down.
Sam [sarcastic]: Really!?
Mitch [mumbling]: From the neck up.
Sam: This is exciting! You saw her tits. It’s so neat!
Mitch: Look! It’s a guy thing, alright!? Hey, now you got a nice body and all, but those—hey, hee-hey, you can see them comin’ around the corner! — You got time to comb your hair and shit!
On top of all that, and being how the main character is a female and a spy, she done gets her ass ripped off, handed back and sown on with a fuckin’ nail gun. The worst of which is arguably a torture sequence involving ice-cold water and lace.
Like a dominatrix gacked up on crank, it’s both sexy AND painful. “A woman’s face never looks quite so beautiful, as when it’s distended in pain. Witness the beauty of childbirth.” Now that’s some cold blooded shit to say to a bitch before drowning her in ice water. Unfortunately, there is practically no nudity.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
You Can’t Keep A Good Bad-Ass Down
After being beaten, blown through a building, shot twice and left for dead—Henessey refuses to oblige when he hears his partner Sam in need.
Dun – DUN – Da – Dunt!
“That’s right! YOU CAN’T KILL ME MOTHERFUCKAS!!!”
Now as great and quotable as the above line is, it still can’t hold a flaming chemical truck to this endgame closer…
And he does. And it’s awesome.
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
Life is pain, get used to it, Princess.
[THE CHECKLIST: 19 outta 25]
[ ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle*
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[ ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[ ] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[X] Tis The Season [Christmas]
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[ ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice
*A deer does when Samantha hits it with her car. I’ll allow it.
Merry Christmas To All, And To All—A Long Kiss Goodnight!
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) © MCMXCV New Line Productions and New Line Home Entertainment
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