The Long Kiss Goodnight

You know it's a movie, because Samuel L
Jackson is in it.
"What's forgotten is not always gone."

Hey everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! I thought today I would eaaase us into Christmas with a movie that... well isn't about Christmas but takes place around it. For that purpose I decided to dig up an entry from my pile of "movies no one remembers or possibly ever saw in the first place The Long Kiss Goodnight. You see, Christmas is about family, and togetherness. It's about giving, and love. Also it's about a mild-mannered suburban mother and schoolteacher, who is actually an amnesiac killing machine who used to work for the CIA. That's what this movie is all about. Starring Geena Davis (Of Thelma & Louise and Beetlejuice fame) as Samantha Caine, a woman who was found 8 years before the events of the movie, washed ashore with no memory. Also she was pregnant. She has attempted several times to hire private investigators to figure out who she is, but there's been absolutely no trace of her previous life. The latest P.I. she's hired is Mitch Hennessy (Samuel L.) who despite being of questionable ethics, seems to be proficient at his job, So, then what happens?

See, I can believe that she might be a psycho killer.
Well, Samantha hits a deer driving home, and then starts remembering stuff. Really violent crazy stuff. Suffice to say, this does not foreshadow a holly jolly fucking Christmas. After she is attacked by a convict who had a grudge against her (he saw her on tv because she was in a Christmas parade with her family awww) she savagely and efficiently murders him, pretty much with her bare hands. This marks the beginning of her former personality reasserting itself, in the way that only a movie character can change from being one person to a totally different person because of amnessssiaaa. Samantha and Mitch press on after he unearths a lead about her past, and they find out (following some violence) that she is actually Charlene "Charlie" Baltimore, and that she was an assassin for the CIA. The resurgence of this persona does not do much for Samantha/Charlie's parenting credentials, and she spends the rest of the movie trying to come to terms with the split between her two very divergent personalities.

I find this image less frightening than the last one.
She also spends the rest of the movie trying to foil a CIA plot to detonate a chemical weapon and frame terrorists for it to secure more funding. Also they decide to kidnap Sam/Charlie's daughter, and she takes that as a surefire sign that those guys really want her to murder the shit out of them. She is not about to disappoint those gents oh no. The movie doesn't stake out any new real estate in the action, spy, or amnesia plot-devices fields, but it certainly does a good job of executing itself (even if like I said the component pieces are either very rote, or sort of stupid). Also Geena Davis does a good job executing everyone in the movie who isn't extra special nice to her. So probably watch out for that.

This is how I like to remember Christmas.
In terms of gross, the movie did okay for itself, netting a solid 89 mil, off its weirdly large 65 million dollar budget (maybe they paid Samuel L. Jackson a lot of money I don't know. There are also some pretty serious explosions). The movie got mostly pretty positive reviews, citing the things I said above. Not groundbreaking, but good in a summer action flick kind of way (ignore that it came out in October please). Some critics just didn't like that this movie was... well it isn't very nice. Parts of it are downright brutal, and I guess this was a time when even action movies sort of kept their violence fairly light on real visceral details. I think that isn't so great, and so I didn't have a problem with people having their heads busted pretty much nonstop.

Merry Christmas Derp.
The director of this film, Renny Harlin, also directed Die Hard 2, another pretty violent action movie that takes place in the snow and around Christmas. It makes sense, because this guy's movies are at best just so-so, and Die Hard 2 was my least favorite Die Hard movie. Renny Harlin also directed another movie starring Geena Davis, the year before The Long Kiss Goodnight was released, Cutthroat Island, where she was a lady pirate. Chances are I'll have a few words about that one at a later date (these are actually the highlights. If I wanted to be mean to this guy I could talk about Deep Blue Sea or Cliffhanger).

That's all for today! Join me on Thursday, when I relay my feelings and thoughts about The Hobbit!

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