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Movie Review: Basic Instinct 2

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This film will draw in a lot of people looking for a sexy murder-mystery thriller. Instead, Basic Instinct 2 delivers a very poor imitation of the original from 14 years ago.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSet in London, author Catherine Tramell survives her car crashing into the water, but her male companion dies in the process, apparently drugged earlier that evening to be slow, sluggish and have his lungs fail. In order to figure out if she’s a danger to herself or the public, the court appoints a psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) to evaluate her. Soon after, people around him begin to drop like flies. There are signs that point to Tramell as the killer but the victims also appear to be people the psychiatrist could have killed, for his own personal reasons.

You know the film is about to fall apart when the psychiatrist declares that he doesn’t socialize with his patients. Surprise, surprise, guess who breaks his own rule not too long after? Is there anyone, man or woman, who can resist her? Apparently, not.

Sharon Stone (47) was actually really good as the rich, playgirl author, who never seems to be living in the real world. She appears to be somewhat loopy and carefree, never serious for even a second, confident that she is the ruler of her existence. She gets what she wants and people are magnetically seduced by her. Still, we don’t get to know her character very much. We don’t get inside her head except when we find out in court what Dr. Glass believes about her personality flaws. She’s also given some pretty stupid dialogue.

David Morrissey isn’t as watchable as Michael Douglas, cop Nick Curran, from the first film. The electricity between them just isn’t there. I wonder how much better it could have been with Clive Owen instead, whose screen presence is much stronger. He isn’t helped, however, by the film’s weakly executed story.

David Thewlis, last seen in the third Harry Potter movie as Professor Lupin, also doesn’t put in a great performance as the detective with an apparent dirty past, on the trail of Tramell. Veteran actress Charlotte Rampling seemed underused as psychiatrist Milena Gardosh, a minor role in the film. I kept waiting on her character to be a more significant player but that didn’t happen.

This could have been a better film if there was more of detective story to it — with more intrigue and focus. Audiences prefer murder mysteries to be more about “who-dunnit” with “a-ha” moments, rather than just a parade of corpses and a lead character constantly being sexually gratified. Director Michael Caton-Jones has had better success with The Jackal and Rob Roy.

My rating for this film is 2/5 and I wouldn’t see it again.

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About Triniman

Almost weekly, Triniman catches new movies, and adds one or two CDs to his collection. Due to time constraints, he blogs about only 5% of the CDs, books and DVDs that he purchases. Holed up in the geographic centre of North America, the cultural mecca of Canada, and the sunniest city north of the 49th, Winnipeg, Triniman blogs a bit when he's not swatting mosquitoes, shoveling snow or golfing.
  • HB

    Trniman’s review although mostly accurate, is way too kind! This is by far one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my entire life. I can not help but feel sorry for Sharon Stone and what appears to be the beginning of the end of her big screen career. The script, a cheap imitation of the first, with zero suspense, must have been rushed to complete, perhaps during a bathroom break!

  • Nik

    I hear Stone hardly even gets naked, which, not to be too crude, was really 90% of the appeal of the first one.

  • Something tells me the director’s cut will be a big seller, for those looking for more of Ms. Stone naked.