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Basic Instinct 2
The Nymphomaniacal Femme Fatale Returns
by Matt Forsman on Mar 31, 2006
The nymphomaniacal Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is back with a vengeance for more ice pick wielding and mind fucking than you can shake a stick at. The only real surprise with Basic Instinct 2 is that it took studio executives ten plus years to come up with a sequel to the lurid, graphic, and financially successful original. Well, there is one other surprise with this sequel. It's one of the most unintentionally funny films in years.
Things start off with a bang as the thrill seeking Catherine cruises through dark London streets in a beautiful sports car. Her semi-conscious date, Kevin Franks (a famous footballer) rides shotgun as Catherine shifts things into high gear. Apparently, driving a fast car at unsafe speeds is really only a turn on with someone's hand in your crotch. Fortunately, Kevin is all too willing to oblige (as obliging as a semi-conscious footballer can be).
As Catherine redlines (in more ways than one), the car careens off a bridge; crashing into the River Thames. No surprise that Catherine is the only one who walks (swims) away from the tryst. Naturally, Scotland Yard hauls the femme fatale in for questioning and a psychiatric evaluation. Let the carnal cat and mouse begin.
Dr. Michael Glass played monotonically by David Morissey is Tramell's shrink. In short order Tramell has the fragile Glass (sorry, I couldn't resist) wrapped around her finger or, should I say, humping her leg? Catherine gets inside of her shrink's head and his life begins to quickly unravel.
First of all -- YES -- Sharon Stone does get totally naked. Secondly, she doesn't look half bad (as good as plastic can look). All of the sex scenes in Basic Instinct 2 try earnestly to appear erotic, but really all of them just come out as absurd and ridiculous. When it becomes apparent Glass has an attraction to Tramell but can't sleep with her because she's a patient, he finds a friend at a party to grab a drink with and screw instead.
Of course, he stares at a picture of Tramell on the back of a paperback while he's doing the deed. We already know he's not really into the woman he's with anyway -- we don't need this heavy handed technique to convey his true feelings. Nonetheless, when Glass and Tramell finally do decide it's time for a good hump, there's no real sexual tension or attraction. It simply feels obligatory. For those seeking additional soft core porn moments, there's a tepid orgy scene in the latter stages of the film.
Aside from Stone's not totally displeasing nudity, there really isn't much to recommend about her performance. Stone vamped it up in the first Basic Instinct and seems bound and determined to take this original performance to the next level. What she ends up doing is putting forth an amalgamated caricature of all the femme fatales in film history. It's entertaining because it's laughable, not because it's good.
As Tramell's pawn, David Morrissey is far from compelling. Morrissey brings a taciturn sternness to his rendition of Glass, but not much else. For most of the film, his face seems to register little more than perplexity. It's not a terrible performance, there just isn't much to it.
The only other performance worth mentioning is David Thewlis' turn as the dirty cop Roy Washburn who is out to "nail" Tramell by any means necessary. Thewlis has some of the funniest lines in the entire film and seems to relish his role in this absurd attempt at an erotic thriller.
The original Basic Instinct was an erotic thriller that managed to achieve a certain amount of success because of a graphic display of sexuality (need I mention the infamous leg cross?) that was unlike anything that had been seen in mainstream film before. To characterize Basic Instinct 2 as a direct sequel is not entirely accurate as the film is less of an erotic thriller and more of a comedy or parody.
Basic Instinct 2 is enjoyable, but it's not good. Basic Instinct 2 falls into the same category as Showgirls or the horrific Jenny McCarthy vehicle Dirty Love; they are so infamously bad they have achieved cult status. Yes, Basic Instinct 2 is a razzie frontrunner for 2006. This one is best enjoyed with irreverent friends in a mild (or heavy) state of inebriation.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
by Matt Forsman on Mar 31, 2006
Sharon Stone as Ms. Tramell , images courtesy of Columbia Pictures
David Morrissey as Dr. Michael Glass and Sharon Stone