Well, yes and no. Opening weekend is sure to bring in moviegoers in droves enthralled by the sight of Geena Davis with a blonde dye-job, but more discriminating viewers will probably be put-off by the plot holes, inconsistencies, and downright silliness of the film. I mean, how many times can you outrun an explosion in one film, anyway?
The Long Kiss Goodnight starts with one hell of an idea -- suburban schoolteacher Samantha (Davis) has had amnesia for eight years, and when an escaped convict tries to kill her after he sees her on television, the truth of her past is slowly revealed. Along with private eye Mitch (Samuel L. Jackson), Samantha discovers the reality of her life -- she is a cold-blooded assassin in the employ of the CIA under deep cover, by the name of Charly.
Things go from bad to worse when everyone apparently wants the resurfaced and now out-of-date Charly out of the picture, and it becomes a game of cat and mouse with Charly's new goal becoming... well, we never really figure that out, but it involves killing a lot of people, and blowing up a lot of stuff.
Jackson is hilarious here in another Pulp-y Jules-esque comic relief role, and Davis has the action-star makings of another Sigourney Weaver. And while the film on the whole is one exciting slam-bang actioner (directed by slam-bang director and Mr. Geena Davis, Renny Harlin), it's the glaring bits of incongruity that constantly bother the viewer. The conveniently placed props -- thin ice where it's needed, always a gun handy, kerosene in a child's doll (I still haven't figured that one out) -- and Harlin's insistence in pointing these out well in advance so we won't be scratching our heads when they inevitably enter the picture -- all of this gives the movie the feeling of a methodically-planned operation, executed with the skill of... well, a killer like Charly.
The Long Kiss Goodnight has other problems, most notably a poor editing job, needed explanatory sequences obviously excised from the film, and a disconcerting similarity of Charly at the end of the film to MacGyver, but what's the point of worrying? In the end, you're likely to remember little but a lot of guns, explosions, and Geena's lovely hair.
Not your everyday "Charly" girl.
Run time: 121 mins
In Theaters: Friday 11th October 1996
Distributed by: New Line Home Entertainment
Production compaines: New Line Cinema
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 35 Rotten: 17
IMDB: 6.7 / 10
Director: Renny Harlin
Screenwriter: Shane Black
Starring: Geena Davis as Samantha Caine / Charly Baltimore, Samuel L. Jackson as Mitch Henessey, Yvonne Zima as Caitlin Caine, Craig Bierko as Timothy, Tom Amandes as Hal, Brian Cox as Dr. Nathan Waldman, Patrick Malahide as Leland Perkins, David Morse as Luke / Daedalus, Joseph McKenna as One-Eyed Jack, Melina Kanakaredes as Trin, Dan Warry-Smith as Raymond, Kristen Bone as Girl #1, Jennifer Pisana as Girl #2, Rex Linn as Man in Bed, Alan North as Earl
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