Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
Running time: 114 minutes (1 hour, 54 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sexuality, nudity, violence, language, and some drug content
DIRECTOR: Michael Canton-Jones
WRITERS: Leora Barish & Henry Bean (based upon characters by Joe Eszterhas)
PRODUCERS: Mario Kassar, Joel B. Michaels, and Andrew G. Vajna
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gyulas Pados (director of photography)
EDITOR: Istvan Kiraly and John Scott
COMPOSER: John Murphy
Razzie Award winner
Starring: Sharon Stone, David Morrissey, Charlotte Rampling, David Thewlis, Hugh Dancy, Stan Collymore, Neil Maskell, Indira Varma, Heathcote Williams, and Flora Montgomery
The subject of this movie review is Basic Instinct 2, a 2006 erotic thriller and mystery film. Directed by Michael Canton-Jones, the film is a sequel to the 1992 film, Basic Instinct. Sharon Stone returns from the original film, but not her co-star, Michael Douglas. In the new film, Stone’s character, novelist Catherine Tramell, is again in trouble with the law, and she lures the Scotland Yard psychiatrist appointed to evaluate her into a seductive game.
Charged with the murder of her fiancé, Kevin Franks (Stan Collymore), best-selling novelist, Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), is once again in trouble with the law – this time in London. Catherine faces questioning from Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey), a Scotland Yard-appointed criminal psychiatrist. Before long, more people are turning up dead all around Catherine, just as it did a decade and a half ago in San Francisco. The suspects are plenty, and the players include a conniving reporter and a dirty cop, as well as many of Glass’ friends and associates. An old case of Glass’ also comes into play. Did he know that George Cheslav (unseen in the film), a psychotic patient of his, was going to kill his girlfriend? Tramell sees the case as a chance to manipulate Glass as fodder for her new novel – about a psychiatrist who may or may not have committed murder. Glass has the training to withstand Catherine’s mind games, or does he? Can he even match her willpower? And what happens when the evidence from the murders start pointing to him as much as it does to Catherine?
Basic Instinct 2 isn’t good, nor is it really bad. It starts off with a bang, but most of it is dry, dull, and awkward, in spite of a good moment here and there and a killer ending that leaves the viewer asking questions just as the first film did. One wonders why we really needed a sequel to the San Francisco-based neo-noir, Basic Instinct, although there has been talk of one ever since the film became a blockbuster hit in 1992. Leora Barish and Henry Bean’s script is a good murder mystery, but it’s wrong for the Catherine Tramell character. Tramell certainly belongs in a lurid murder mystery; this just isn’t the one. Putting her in this British-based tale of deception and hard sex is like putting Shrek in The Lord of the Rings just because the former is a fantasy-based character and the latter is an epic fantasy.
Director Michael Canton-Jones (Scandal) tries to give this film some style, and judging from the explicit “love scenes,” he knows how to direct a hot sex scene. Sharon Stone still is Catherine Tramell, but she’s trying to hard, and Canton swoops in on her every wicked facial expression. For fans of the original, this is merely a curiosity piece and one that tries the patience.
3 of 10
Saturday, August 19, 2006
2007 Razzie Awards: 4 wins: “Worst Actress” (Sharon Stone), “Worst Picture” (A.K.A. Basically, It Stinks, Too-Sony and Columbia), “Worst Prequel or Sequel” (A.K.A. Basically, It Stinks, Too), and “Worst Screenplay” (Leora Barish and Henry Bean, based on characters created by Joe Eszterhas); 3 nominations: “Worst Director” (Michael Caton-Jones), “Worst Screen Couple” (Sharon Stone's lop-sided breasts.), and “Worst Supporting Actor” (David Thewlis, also for The Omen-2006)