The Long Kiss Goodnight Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Director Renny Marlin a jpoc movie review

A very entertaining thriller.

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My Rating

Five out of ten.

I first saw this on the 22nd of Feb in 1997 at the Kinepolis in Brussels.

My review

This film is meant to be viewed as a thriller/action picture and, seen as such it is very good indeed. The central character suffers from memory loss that lasts for eight years after which she begins to regain her memory. She discovers that her old character was nothing like her current persona but the movie never addresses any of the issues that arise from this. As long as you do not expect any probing into the depths of a troubled mind, you will not be disappointed.

Samantha Caine (Davis) plays a school teacher who seems to have a perfect life according to the middle class version of the American dream. The trouble is that one thing is missing. Her past is a complete blank until the start of her new life eight years earlier.

One day, a blow to her head starts to bring some memories back. Meanwhile, long ago she hired Mitch Henessey (Jackson) a cheap private detective to try to discover her past. By coincidence, Mitch having given up on the case, stumbles on a clue to Samantha's past. By another coincidence, a one eyed felon sees a short news clip on the TV in his prison cell. He recognises Samantha as the woman who took the sight from his eye eight years earlier, breaks jail and heads off to kill her.

The chain of events set off by these coincidences leads Samantha to discover her earlier identity as Charly Baltimore, government agent and she is confronted by former colleagues who now wish to kill her to cover up their misdeeds.

That all adds up to enough of a plot for this type of film and it's backed up by fine performances by Jackson and Davis. The latter is very convincing in the way that she switches from Samantha to Charly and Jackson is just as good as in Pulp Fiction.

The script is good too. Slick and well paced and very funny in parts. The movie was let down really just by the action sequences which were too often just too implausible to be satisfying. That however is just a minor criticism of a movie which is exactly what it sets out to be, an entertaining thriller.