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Review The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996): A Christmas action classic!

genre: action, crime, mystery, thriller

Today I felt like watching an old school action flick but because of the holidays I wanted to watch one that was still in the Christmas spirit. It did not take me long to get to this title and since it had been a while I wanted to see if it still holds up.

Don't let me beat around the bush and tell you that not only does it hold up it still gets to you in the scenes it initially did. If that isn't all telling then I don't know what is. The Long Kiss Goodnight is written by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, The Nice Guys Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and is directed by Renny Harlin. Maybe now that doesn't mean that much but back then he was a force to be reckoned with. I mean with titles as Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger and Deep Blue Sea you can witness for yourself that they guy has some qualities. The Long Kiss Goodnight is definitely one of the best he has made. Add to that top notch actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Geena Davis and you probably are beginning to understand why I consider this a classic. First and foremost it's role reversal that gave this film that edge on similar action flicks made in the nineties. For once it wasn't Sly or Arnie dishing out pain. Instead we got a very convincing Geena Davis who not only managed to remain beautiful and feminine. But she shows that she can be just as tough, dangerous and competent as any hardboiled hero. Maybe even more so. Remember this was long before there were even Social Justice Warriors. And men had no problems with this whatsoever. Even more extraordinary is the fact that Samuel L. Jackson basically is the sidekick / damsel in distress usually played by women. Does that automatically make him incompetent or a secondary character? No, it doesn't. He is just as important since like Hobbit Sam who kept Frodo on the right path, he is the one who reminds Samantha Caine who she really is.

It's a joy watching Samantha Caine unfold into the badass character she is and right from the start you are on her side since when she does it's one spectacular action scene after another. One of the things I like about this film is that no matter how skilled the main characters are they aren't super humans and can make mistakes and get caught like any other person. When that happens you do fear for their lives. It's the context I miss in many contemporary films but one that is so effective. It is made sure you care about the main characters And everything that happens to them affects you as a viewer. The action itself is choreographed nicely and full of stunts and explosives that still look impressive today. That is how you should do action. You should not only provide eye candy and spectacle but also a reason to get immersed fully and this film does just that.

So if by chance you have not seen this film yet, then please don't hesitate and go watch The Long Kiss Goodnight, it's awesome. To get a little taste of what is to come check out the trailer underneath. Especially in the last bit it gets epic as they use Enigma's Eyes of Truth to emphasize the grandeur of this film.

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