The unloved: Goodbye forever, or Geena Davis as Jason Bourne for Christmas

Because the cinema is a universe of variable geometry, subject to fashions and bad faith, Ecran Large, slayer of injustice, poses as the savior of cinephilia with a new meeting. The goal: to save from the abyss a film forgotten, underestimated, damaged by the critics, the public, or both upon its release.

Make way for Geena Davis as the action heroine for Renny Harlin in the Christmas movie Goodbye Forever.

“There is an excess of excess” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Geena Davis could be a compelling action heroine – if only she had a compelling movie to be in” (San Fransisco Chronicle)

I liked how you can love an arcade game: it holds your attention until you run out of coins, and then you leave without ever thinking about it again “(Roger Erbert)

“In the genre” film that does not skimp “, this one reaches new heights. (…) We are good for an aspirin. Goodbye and never again …” (Télérama)

THE EXPRESS SUMMARY

Samantha Caine is a priori an ordinary woman, a teacher in a small town, with her companion and her daughter Caitlin. But eight years ago Samantha was found on a beach, pregnant and with amnesia. Everything changes after a car accident that wakes her up a bit. She discovers unusual talents, and when a man who recognizes her attacks her, she kills him like an expert.

As she walks away from her family to protect them, with a private investigator named Mitch whom she hired to trace her past, Samantha discovers that she is in reality Charly, an assassin in the service of the CIA. After a few fights and exploits, she recomposes her past, cuts her hair, dyes platinum blonde, and becomes badass again.

His daughter Caitlin is kidnapped by her old friends, who just intend to stage an attack to blame the evil strangers. Thanks to some big MacGyver exploits and angry castagnes, and the help of Mitch, Charly / Samantha kills the bad guys with the bomb, and escapes. She finally returns to her family life, and refuses to resume her job at the CIA.

photo, Goodbye forever, Samuel L. Jackson Geena Davis, superstar then in full flight

BEHIND THE SCENES

When Goodbye forever is launched, Renny Harlin is in a difficult position. He who was launched with the success of 58 minutes to live and Cliffhanger, has just made Hollywood history with what will remain as one of the biggest and most memorable flops: L‘Pirate Island. An around $ 100 million blockbuster that only grossed a dozen in theaters, after a chaotic production, the film was her first collaboration with Geena Davis (they would marry in 1993).

Lucky for them, Goodbye forever is already launched when this disaster explodes in full flight in the theaters, at the end of 95. The shooting of the action film begins in January 96, with this sword of Damocles therefore.

The idea for the film germinated in the mind of Shane Black, who then signed The lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2, The Last Samaritan and Last Action Hero. He sold his screenplay for a record price at the time (around $ 3 million). The first versions of the scenario were darker: Mitch raped in prison and who spoke regularly to his dead mother, or Charly raped by his father and who witnessed his death.

BirthMoviesDeath explains that one of the versions began with a very strong scene: Caitlin would wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare, and go back to sleep when she saw that her mother was by her side, to reassure her. The spectator then discovered that the mother was armed with a large caliber, her arm bloodied. The main reason behind these rewrites: to cut the budget by almost half, and to make a film more mainstream.

photo, Goodbye forever, Renny Harlin, Samuel L. Jackson Renny Harlin, Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson

But the biggest change will come from Shane Black himself, who originally wrote a male protagonist. Halfway through writing, he realizes his story can only work with a heroine, so as not to have yet a banal history of amnesia. He will speak later about his desire to create a female character as serious as a man, and to avoid falling into stereotypes of gentleness. The idea of ​​building a character of a mother who protects her daughter, and a professional killer, also inspired him a lot.

Among the later changes: the death of Mitch, which greatly displeased the spectators during the test screenings. Killing Samuel L. Jackson isn’t very popular … but Harlin would get revenge later in Scared, by offering the actor one of his most beautiful deaths. In 2018, the actor explained to The Undefeatded : “During the test screenings, the audience went crazy. Like, no you can’t kill Mitch. So we went back and made these shots with Larry King. We shot I think three days before the movie was released. . And they added it. “

photo, Goodbye forever, Samuel L. Jackson On the way to … unsuccessful?

Asked by Den of the Geek in 2011, Renny Harlin remembered a complicated shoot: “It was very hard to film, because we had the coldest winter in Canada in 60 years. So there were a lot of days when we really had to stop filming, because the film couldn’t more going into the camera, or that the actors literally couldn’t speak because their jaws were too frozen. “

He thus relates that during the filming of the climax, when the injured heroine finally gets up to her daughter, Geena Davis was literally unable to move, as her costume was stuck to the ground from the frozen fake blood. “Four people lifted her off the ground.”

photo, Goodbye foreverSamuel the Cool Jackson

LE BOX-OFFICE

Goodbye forever was not a terrible flop, but fell short of expectations. With an official budget of 65 million, he barely cashed 90 million in the world, of which only 33 on the American side. Very far from the green signals for a film of this type, especially at a time when the domestic box office was still so powerful.

Some blamed the gut of Pirate Island, which left a lasting mark on the careers of Renny Harlin and Geena Davis. The director will have accused the marketing of their second film of having been ineffective. In 2018, Samuel L. Jackson goes in this direction: in interview with The Undefeated, he says thatGoodbye forever is one of her favorite roles and movies, and continues:

“The studio didn’t know how to sell this movie, because they didn’t know that women like to think of themselves as badass heroines. I kept saying, ‘You have to sell this movie during the daytime, when women are watching them. soap operas’. Or whatever. They would say, ‘We don’t understand what you’re talking about’ “.

For some strange reasons, Renny Harlin talks about a sequel in 2011. He brings up the idea of ​​telling the story of Caitlin, the daughter of the heroine of the first, and talks about a buddy movie with Mitch. He says Samuel L. Jackson wants to be in it, and he’s looking for a screenwriter. Zero news since of course. But as a reminder, Shane Black’s original screenplay ended with the announcement of a sequel, titled The Kiss After Lightning.

photo, Goodbye foreverGeena Davis would say years later that she was Jason Bourne ahead of her time

THE BEST

Goodbye forever is a small model of the kind, and a witness to the way the Hollywood action film was conceived in the 90s. With all its excess, its ambition, and its generosity. With Shane Black in the script, it’s a torpedo of efficiency, humor and wit in its best moments. With Renny Harlin behind the camera, it’s the assurance of well-wrapped and cut action scenes.

The other argument is called Geena Davis. At this point, the actress of Fly, Beetlejuice and Thelma et Louise, Oscar winner for Traveler in spite of himself, attempts a formidable Hollywood breakthrough: with Renny Harlin, she wants to establish herself as a heroine, first with Pirate Island, then with Goodbye forever. The monumental flop of the first and the lukewarm success of the second will slow her down, and it’s a shame as her performance in action woman clearly indicates how she could (and should) take off and be crowned. Instead, she will be away from the screens for a few years, and will not have much except Stuart Little and its consequences.

photo, Goodbye foreverGeena Davis, where are you

In Goodbye forever, yet she is an actress, a heroine and a complete woman, by turns touching and twirling, fragile and mad, brunette and blonde. While having fun with these pictures of the mother and the whore, the film gives him a golden role. And Geena Davis grabs it with obvious pleasure, for spectacular action scenes as well as moments of pure tenderness.

Samuel L. Jackson is unsurprisingly perfect in a role totally suited to him, and Craig Bierko is a very good element. With hindsight, it is even a surprise to see that the actor did not take off despite his good looks and his charisma. Her sadistic smiles at Geena Davis provide excellent moments, especially in the home stretch.

Thanks to them and the energy on the screen, Goodbye forever is a perfectly calibrated old school pleasure, an uninhibited film and simple as we don’t do too much today (except perhaps The Nice Guys by Shane Black). A testimony from another era, with its faults, of course, but above all with its ardor.

photo, Goodbye forever, Samuel L. JacksonA duo as improbable as it is memorable

THE WORST

Typically old-fashioned bad taste mistakes, like those ugly and crude dream scenes, or those moments in front of the mirror. The brunette-blonde duality is not the finest thing there is, with on one side the serious and charming mother and on the other, the hyper-sexual bad girl who smokes and drinks. A simplicity as effective as it is ridiculous, when the film tries to stage the rebirth of the heroine.

This whole story of super-secret secret agents and conspiracy around terrorism seems very dull in hindsight, and besides, the scenario is not overly concerned with it. The important thing is elsewhere, and it is also there thatGoodbye forever works: he knows his weaknesses and keeps the viewer’s attention where it is needed, humbly but spectacularly.

Finally, the end in the form of a big happy ending (she returns home to be a mom and wife, while Mitch miraculously survived and is on TV), denotes with the rest of the film. There is no doubt that here again, the conformist steamroller has passed, as on many original elements removed from the black script of Shane Black.

We wish to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this remarkable material

The unloved: Goodbye forever, or Geena Davis as Jason Bourne for Christmas