Movie Review: The Long Kiss Goodnight

After the bitter taste I got in my mouth after watching Jobs, I decided I needed to watch another movie to get that out of my system so my mom, brother and I ended up watching this 1996 film. The backstory is that Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) has dementia and can’t remember anything from before eight years ago. Through a bunch of surprising, unforeseen circumstances, she discovers she was once a spy and now along with Detective Henessey (Samuel L. Jackson), must finish the mission she failed to complete eight years ago.

First off, there are some serious problems with the “circumstances” that cause her to discover her past, ones I’ll discuss in the spoiler’s edition. All the roles in this movie seem very stereotypical. For example, Samuel L. Jackson is the guy who’s done nothing right his whole life and Samantha’s daughter is the typical “I’ll get myself into dangerous situations whenever possible” child.

The acting is sub-par and the dialogue is cheesy and corny. Like when Samantha meets Dr. Waldman, who tells her what her real name is, what she did, what her mission was, etc., it all seemed really corny for me. Some of the emotional acting that they try to include was so pitiful it actually got me chuckling.

This movie’s special effects team could have really used George Lucas, because he did a better job with his special effects in the Star Wars movies in the ’70’s and ’80’s then this team did in ’96. The explosions were overdone to the point of absurdity with Davis and Jackson naturally missing the explosions by mere inches. Other times, it was very obvious that the backgrounds were computer-generated and I’m someone who doesn’t even pay attention to that stuff.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Iron Man 3World War Z42)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Now You See MeMan of SteelMonster-In-LawWhite House Down, Jobs)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (OblivionThe WolverineJagged EdgeElysium)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific Rim)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The HobbitAfter EarthRoad to PerditionTotal Recall)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot Games)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight Cowboy)

My score for The Long Kiss Goodnight: 66.

Part of me thinks this movie wasn’t meant to be taken seriously because there’s just too much wrong with it. Director Renny Harkin was responsible for Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger, both of which were good movies. I have trouble believing he could go from Die Hard 2 to crapola. This is one of those bad movies that’s fun to watch and I did enjoy it.



First off, this movie tells you that Samantha Caine has dementia. That is not the case at all. At one point, her daughter and her go ice skating and her daughter falls and hurts her arm. She skates over and in a demanding, militaristic tone, tells her to get up, and that “pain is life.” What?! First of all, no matter who you are, who talks like that? Life is pain? Pain is life? Are you kidding me? Anyway, you can tell she’s not herself but later complains to her boyfriend that she doesn’t remember what she said to her daughter. Then she gets attacked by some guy who was in prison that saw her on the news in a Christmas parade. Apparently, this guy was sent to kill her and succeeded in shooting her on the side of the head and she fell off a cliff into water with spiked rocks below. He finds out she’s not dead and after escaping goes to finish the job. He dies in like five seconds, which only shows how important his character really was. She ends up killing him after breaking his neck and once again, you can tell she’s not herself. After enough hints, I figured out she had multiple personalities and that in reality her problem wasn’t dementia at all. Her spy personality comes out and starts killing bad guys, blah, blah, blah, and then after she kills everybody, the end of the movie concludes with her boyfriend, daughter and her at some farm hanging out. Narration tells us she kept her job as a school teacher and just goes back to the life she was living. WHAT?! There’s no way that would work, no way. Her daughter is traumatized after all the crap she’s seen by the end of this movie, so how can she be a teacher when it’s evident her own daughter has problems? Finally, Samuel Jackson gets shot up and then miraculously lives to save the day and lives in general, too. I can’t say I saw that happening either. This movie will get some laughs out of you just because it’s that bad, but you’ll probably agree with me that it’s a bad movie that’s fun to watch.

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