Courtesy Photo
Directed by Renny Harlin

Starring Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson & Craig Bierko

"The Long Kiss Goodnight"

Opened: October 11, 1996 | Rated: R

What deranged studio head would let the directing-acting husband and wife team of Renny Harlin and Geena Davis make another film after the unforgivable "Cutthroat Island"? Somebody at New Line Cinema, apparently.

But whoever that was must know something about rock'em sock'em, check-your-brain-at-the-door action, because "The Long Kiss Goodnight" is everything "Cutthroat" wasn't -- gratuitous, far-fetched and a lot of fun.

It's still dumb as hell. I mean, a later-day June Cleaver discovers she's an assassin/secret agent with amnesia? Even Van Damme wouldn't buy into that. But "Last Kiss" doesn't take itself seriously at all, and while there are very few really good action movies (this ain't no "Die Hard"), every ingredient that separates, say Jackie Chan from Steven Segal, is here. Smart remarks and explosions, sight gags and explosions, sexpots and explosions, stunning stunts and explosions -- you get the idea.

Davis nails the ruthless, Bond-girl flavor of her housewife's alter-ego who has a price on her head when her memory returns. Samuel L. Jackson puts another notch is his belt on his way to being crowned the wise-cracking side-kick poster boy.

If you see action movies purely as matinee fodder, if you see them with tongue firmly in cheek, "The Long Kiss Goodnight" is for you. If you can't let slide a few wild incontinuities for the sake of a good ride, save your money.

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