Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Long Kiss Goodnight: Oh So Cliché

As was mentioned in previous posts, this film was at times hilariously bad. It’s little surprise that it was a part of the cinematic downfall of Geena Davis. The plot devices were ridiculously cliché, the villains were over-the-top stereotypes, and auxiliary characters had a habit of dying at inopportune times.

Samantha Caine is a sweet, loving suburban housewife, complete with a husband as generic as Ken doll and a wide-eyed daughter. We learn right at the beginning that she is a victim of a specific type of amnesia, which has caused her to forget everything in her life prior to waking up pregnant on a beach eight years ago. The use of amnesia is a little cliché, but at this stage of the movie is forgivable. She mentions that she has hired a number of detectives over the years to investigate her past, and none have been successful. That is, until her current detective, Mitch Hennessey (played by Samuel L. Jackson) stumbles across some useful evidence. Of course, the two must go out to meet some contacts and gain some new information.

It’s not until the details of her past are revealed that we learn just how cliché this film will become. It turns out she was a government assassin during the Cold War. The premise is so ridiculous that even Samantha and Mitch burst out laughing when they hear it. It just goes downhill from there; their contact is killed, the assassin personality takes over, and poor Hennessey constantly displays his uncanny ability to not die no matter what happens around him, all while delivering brilliant smartass remarks.

The villains are evil, but what makes them laughable is that they are ultimately evil for no good reason. The main villain, Timothy, learns that the little girl he has hostage is his biological daughter. He responds to this by getting frustrated and storming off, leaving the little girl to die with her mother in a freezer.

Among the random dead are the man Hennesey and Samantha contacted for information, an unfortunate drunk man who was in the car when Samantha happened to hit a deer, and countless generic thugs employed by the villain.

Ultimately, the best thing about this film is Samuel L. Jackson. The script for this film is worse than that of “Snakes on a Plane.” The difference between that and “The Long Kiss Goodnight” is that only Samuel L. Jackson seems to know just how ridiculous the latter is. His lines are often brilliant wisecracks; when Samantha (in her assassin persona, Charlie) asks him if he bites virgins on the ear when deflowering them to distract them from the pain, Jackson looks her right in the face and says “No, I hit them in the face and say pop goes the weasel.”


Blogger natalie said...

haha there were alot of random dead including the deer. i think they had to do that to convince us that Samantha/Charlie was really hardcore. It took alot of work for me to really feel like she was a killer compared to if a man was in the same situation. he wouldn't have to kill the deer, throw his daughter out of a window, throw knives, and take shots in weird ways for me to think that he was badass.

9:04 AM  

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