Monday, April 3, 2017

Say Goodnight, Geena

Continuing on our Shane Black-athon: The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), directed by Rennie Harlan from a Shane Black script.

It stars Geena Davis as a sweet grade school teacher with a boyfriend and a daughter, and a secret. She has amnesia, remembers nothing of her life since she was found on a beach several years ago. Mostly she doesn't care, but she did hire a cheap detective (Samuel L. Jackson) to look for her past. Amazingly (he is not all that competent or hard-working), he gets some clues to her past. As it starts coming back to her, she realizes that she used to be a covert government assassin. And now the agency that she belonged to wants her dead.

So Davis and Jackson go on the road to find out who she is, who's trying to kill her, and to stop them. In a lot of ways, this is The Bourne Identity, except gender swapped and sillier. Since it's a Shane Black script, it's full of quotable lines and great situations. (Also, the daughter is both put in jeopardy and saves her mom - one of his calling cards.) It's also full of chases, gun fights, and explosions. The action has a cartoony quality - people are thrown for miles in explosions, and get up and dust themselves off. In one scene, Davis throws her daughter out a second-story window, and she lands safely in the treeehouse. This kind of thing is both funny in itself, and a reminder to turn your brain off.

I don't think this is Black's most coherent script (or maybe I turned  my brain off too much). But it's definitely a fun one. More to come.

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