Very lukewarm at the global box office, “Goodbye Forever”, carried by the formidable duo Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson, nevertheless remains a nugget of 90’s action films as we no longer do. To rediscover absolutely.
It is always good to play archaeologists to unearth from time to time beautiful nuggets a little lost in the depths of the catalogs of streaming platforms. In this case here at Amazon Prime, with Goodbye forever, released in 1996 and signed by Renny Harlin. The director was also on borrowed time after the bitter failure of his Pirate Island, released a few months earlier.
The story ? It’s Samantha Caine’s. This wise mother, amnesiac for eight years, has never managed to unlock the secret of her past… Until it resurfaces violently in her life. From now on, she will have to rely on Mitch Henessey, private detective, to regain her memory, escape the killers who pursue her, thwart a gigantic plot and complete a mission interrupted eight years earlier… When her name was Charlie Baltimore…
Check out the trailer…
Let’s put it bluntly: we love Goodbye forever. Appearing a bit like the swan song of these action films of the 90s, in the wake of Last Samaritan and A Day in Hell (without nevertheless reaching the perfection of the latter signed by John McTiernan), the Renny Harlin’s film was a big flop at the box office in France, attracting less than 220,000 spectators. At the worldwide box office, it collected $90 million, including barely $33 million in the country of Uncle Sam. In other words, not really a triumph…
If we mentioned The Last Samaritan above, it is not entirely a coincidence. The screenplay for Goodbye Forever was written by Shane Black, who also wrote those for Lethal Weapon and its sequel, as well as Last Action Hero. Writing his film with a main male character in mind, he had the brilliant idea of backpedaling halfway, believing that his story could only work with a heroine.
Under the guise of Samantha Caine / Charlie Baltimore is a formidable Geena Davis, Mrs. Harlin in the city since 1993, whose transformation from mother figure to killing machine also avoids stereotypes, thanks to a character well written by Black. It is all the more sad to note that the film has signed the end of the trajectory bankable of the actress.
She is largely supported by a brilliant Samuel L. Jackson in the role of Mitch Henessey, whose chemistry works perfectly with Davis. Detective with shady methods, with a vague sense of ethics but ultimately very effective when he wants and endowed despite everything with empathy, the actor walks his quickdraw and his nonchalance in an outfit of absolute bad taste (moccasins with tassels, Burberry patchwork cigarette pants and cap) of which only he has the secret. And yet it suits him perfectly. It’s that he’s not nicknamed the King of Cool for nothing.
Populated by a gallery of solid supporting roles, including Brian Cox, David Morse or Craig Bierko, Goodbye Forever offers a jubilant spectacle in its action scenes, sometimes violent, moreover, always readable in any case, a thousand places of these scenes with overcut chainsaw editing that the cinema has been feeding us for several years.
The opportunity to find the know-how of Renny Harlin in the matter, who had staged, for the record, 58 minutes to live and Cliffhanger. Goodbye forever is also his favorite film, as he explained in 2011. And, maybe you don’t know it, it’s also Samuel L. Jackson’s Favorite, which also places his character just above his brilliant composition as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction.
If you have never seen this nugget, a good catch-up session is essential!