The film now moves into the final act where all the critical pieces -characters, plot elements, and real World implications- fall into place.
Revelations and Confrontation
Baltimore doesn’t yet know that Timothy has kidnapped Caitlin and after saving Henessey from some henchmen, she one seems ready to thoroughly abandon her life as Samantha Caine – the image of her daughter with Hal in the church, it seems, had only moved her momentarily. However, that changes. Timothy calls Henessey’s cell phone (after getting the number from Caitlin) and says he will kill the girl unless Baltimore gives herself up – with Baltimore captured or dead, any loose ends from the bomb plot will be severed. It is this key moment, one where she must decide whether to serve herself or her child, that Baltimore goes back to being Caine and agrees to Timothy’s demands… but she also out manuevers him on his own chessboard.
By using a bit of cleverness with a phone company, Caine and Henessey track Timothy to a town near Niagara Falls. Much to their surprise, Perkins is also there with all of his henchmen. They go ahead anyway with the rescue of Caitlin, but end up captured.
Here, the final pieces fall into place: just what is Perkins really up to? And what does Timothy’s gang have to do with it? From what we know, Perkins’ agency is due for an appropriations hearing and is not likely to be granted much funding due to them losing Charlene Baltimore – they though she was dead, but her resurrection proved problematic. We also find out that the US Congress cut the budget of Perkins’s agency and the Presidents earlier hinted that these prospective funds are going into social spending. Thus, to secure more funding, Perkins put together a plan in motion: hire Daedalus and Timothy, arms dealers who were on a hit list 8 years ago, the one that Charlene Baltimore failed to execute; give them the security and means to carry out a huge terrorist attack; then blame the lack of funding and “Muslim terrorists” for what happened. A seemingly perfect, and quite simple, recipe for False Flag Terror. Note that the 1993 bombing on the World Trade Center is mentioned: “…it’s not unthinkable they [the CIA] paved the way for the bombing purely to justify a budget increase.”
Two major scenes with Perkins:
First scene is in the beginning of the film with Perkins talking with the US President.
Second is the final revelation of Perkins’ plan.
From what we know the bombing will be “right in the center of town” and this final staging area is right by Niagara Falls on the US-Canada border. So what is the target city? Buffalo, NY? Montreal, Canada? It doesn’t really matter, since such a huge attack on a border city would surely alert the nations on both sides. It is also Christmas Eve and the bomb is primed to go off at midnight, the first minute of Christmas Day. Perkins also plans to “blame it on the Muslims, naturally” and Timothy even laughs when this line is spoken, because he knows it’s deliberate misdirection. Given that every agent and government assassin in the film has an alias (like “Daedalus”) this also brings to question whether “Timothy” and “Mr. Perkins” are real names. In all likelihood they are probably just aliases, as well.
So what does this mean? Who could possibly benefit from having the United States and Canada both reacting to “Muslim” terror? Why don’t we allow Mr. Netanyahu to answer to that question with a comment that he gave about an eerily similar situation. Note the ridiculous accusation directed at Iran, as well as comparing the Islamic Republic to his favorite boogeyman, at the end of what he has to say. The blatant hypocrisy is that Israel has an entire nuclear stockpile and has a very aggressive policy toward its neighbors, while Iran, has no nuclear stockpile and doesn’t continually make aggressive pushes at its borders or in politics. Despite these facts, the aforementioned Zionist Criminal has the shamelessness to lie to the World. This revealing documentary, along with this one, as well as this news article provides further light on he was talking about.
Also, note the line, “Congress blinded us overseas.” That seems to be the main motivating factor for Perkins’s false flag terror plot. If he is so concerned with having funds available for operations overseas, he just may be working for, or funneling the funds into, a foreign state – the one that he is a parasite for.
Caine and Henessey, with cooperation and some orchestrated chaos of their own, manage to subdue many of the villains and foil the entire plot. By this point, director Renny Harlin has created a very unconventional movie for its genre, but given the fact that it was funded by Hollywood, he probably conceded a bit on the grimness of the ending or making the real World implications more overt. Screenwriter Shane Black, based much of his script from non-mainstream information about the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing – note the truck bomb parallel here. Also, in the version of the script that Black sold (for a record price at the time), Henessey ends up dying from the wounds he receives while fighting in the final act. This would probably be a more “real World” ending, but the film, as released, does give a positive fate to an honorable character. Having started out as a disgraced cop, former prison inmate, and small-time scheming private detective, Henessey ends up answering to the sudden call of duty. He could have abandoned Caine before they even got to the train station where they were to meet Waldman, but he decided to stay on course. It was a very rough and dangerous course, but Henessey didn’t back down or cower out.
In addition, the ending challenges established conventions by not having Perkins killed off. His fate is off screen, but it is said that he was arrested and indicted in multiple counts of high treason. Many action movies succumb to providing the cheap thrill of having the main antagonist annihilated in spectacular fashion. The situation in which that happens often feels forced and latched onto the film just for the sake of having some extra satisfying violence.
The identity of Charlene Elizabeth Baltimore is also done away with and the protagonist goes back to being Samantha Caine. In the final scene, with money from the safe deposit box that was going to be used by the shady government agency, Caine drives to a farm where Hal and Caitlin await her. She is back to her long brown hair, but still shows that she can handle a throwing knife. The final shot is in golden sun light over a farm and fields (contrast to the bleak farm earlier where torture took place) and a song plays with the lyrics “I just wanna be free” – the Aryan symbolism is quite unmistakable. In fact, it’s the most obvious at this last point in the movie.
Bits and Pieces
As with any great film, there are many minor details here that fit into the overall themes.
When Caine realizes that she can cut vegetables and handle a knife, she ends the scene by throwing the kitchen knife into a wall and impaling a pepper. This relates the flashback when she is shown fighting One Eyed Jack (the first assassin to visit her) – she gave him that one eyed face by stabbing him with a syringe in face. Also, the line “I used to be a chef!” seems to link assassins and food – when talking about prepping the bomb that is to go off at the end, Timothy says, “I just have to make the soup” referring to the device’s chemical ingredients. Also Perkins’ first scene is in a kitchen with the US President. Then of course, One Eyed Jack gets the pie in his face.
Mr. Perkins’s name, being both the name of principle villain and the name of Caitlin’s teddy bear, is interesting. The image of the bear was used during the Cold War to represent the USSR, which was still on the map in the 1980s when Caine worked for Perkins. The Cold War was also a false dichotomy held together by fear of nuclear strike – the War on Terror, which Perkins seems keen on starting up in 1996, is also such charade, but with fear of terrorist attack. Also, two bears play-fighting appear briefly on a TV at one point in the film.
The beginning of the film shows some background on Henessey, who has an estranged wife and son. The wife refuses to even talk to him, while the son isn’t so cold, but ends up not accepting a birthday present from his father. This depressing event could have been an excuse for Henessey to hit the alcohol and drink to forget his troubles, but it is right then that Trin notifies Henessey of the lead she found and he gets right to work on it.
The second hotel room where Caine and Henessey stay is all gold. They go there after clearing out Daedalus’ farm hideout where Caine fell into her Baltimore personality. This marks the lowest point in Caine’s character and she is at her most selfish right in this room. The hotel is located in Atlantic City and thus right next to plenty of casinos, which goes hand-in-hand with Caine’s temporary arrogance. She even seems to be on her way to becoming a Lone Wolf Archetype, however, by the end of the film, she and Henessey actually end up as anti-Lone Wolves. It is by their cooperation that they win and they do not use their victory for self-serving purposes. Caine has the money that she took from the safety deposit box, but seeing where she is at the end, on a farm and not a personal palace, and the fact that she chose to go back to her life as a teacher and raise her daughter, she may very well have given a lot of that extra money away for a charitable cause.
Lastly, another bit of convention challenging is one of the most obvious, and therefore most overlooked: the title – The Long Kiss Goodnight. It is uttered only once and only in the gold hotel room where Charlene Baltimore says that she has kissed Samantha Caine goodnight. The title is interesting when you think of other action film titles: Lone Wolf McQuade, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard and others. They seem to clamor for that “bad ass” factor, yet this film proves that you cannot judge a film by its title – if you do you might think that this is romance movie. Renny Harlin directed a few studio financed movies where his creative control was limited and, in fact, the full title of Die Hard 2 is Die Hard 2: Die Harder. Perhaps he realized how ridiculous and forced that sounds. The title Cutthroat Island is also a slight deviation from convention as movies may have “bad ass” titles, but “cutthroat” is a little more grim and violent sounding for a title than most others.
This was not a popular move at the box office and it was likely that the overt challenge to Hollywood’s conventions was what fated it as such. Even today, this film is very different character-wise and plot-wise than what comes out of the Hollywood Film Factory. Renny Harlin’s career went into turmoil after this second-in-row big-budget failure. On the flipside, Michael Bay has enjoyed great success in creating goy biscuits for the brainless masses thanks to money from Bruckheimer (Jew) with whom he collaborated up until 2003, but now collaborates with Steven Spielberg (Jew) who produces the Transformers franchise, which is due to have a third entry next year.
Renny Harlin has made some lower quality work as of late, since he doesn’t have much means in making a living as a director now. His subsequent films veered away from the ethical positives presented in Cutthroat Island and this film. However, Harlin’s skill as an action director kept going strong for some years; 1999’s Deep Blue Sea (basically Jaws with many sharks), 2001’s Driven (about professional racing), and 2004’s Mindhunters (an elaborate slasher film) still display his trademark style of tight action sequences with mixes of slow motion and are artistically superior to most entries into their respective genres – though the scripts leave much to be desired.
Recently, Harlin finished a film project about the conflict in Southern Ossetia that caused shockwaves in the fall of 2008. Knowing his daring style, he just might get into some taboo ground about the real reasons for international conflict and ethnic strife. Currently, Harlin is shooting a biopic about Marshal Mannerheim in his native Finland – whether this film falls prey to WW2 myth or dares to venture into rationalist and revisionist territory is still to be seen.