Friday, March 31, 2006

Film - Basic Instinct 2


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

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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. His 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 also 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.

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

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