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Thursday, March 30, 2006


Cast: Sharon Stone, David Morrissey, Charlotte Rampling, David Thewlis


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They say a band that returns to the stage fifteen-years after their so-called ‘farewell’ concert is never as good as they were first time around. Their line-up has usually changed, their style is different, they’re not as hot on their feet and their instruments aren’t quite up-to-scratch. Well, seems Catherine Tramell’s instrument has been well oiled and looked after, because it gets quite the beating in the belated sequel to “Basic Instinct” (1992). As for the tune it plays? Well, she’s still hitting the high-notes, but much of the passion has clearly gone.

At 48, Sharon Stone looks terrific. And though you don’t get quite see as much of her here, as you did in the Paul Verhoeven directed original (especially considering ‘that’ scene), it’s still evident, just from the bits we do see, that she has a body to die for. No wonder she didn’t mind ditching the duds again.

Like someone that’s stripped off for a bath only to discover they’ve run out of hot water, Stone’s got naked for no reason though. Why? Seems her character isn’t the only thing that’s been stripped here – the plot is bare, the sensuality has walked, and the thrills were left back in Nick Curran’s apartment. Ladies and Gents, here’s a weak-ass “Taggart” episode, but with that remarkable music theme from “Basic Instinct” played over it, so you don’t notice. Yet, you will.

Directed by Michael Caton Jones (“Doc Hollywood”, “Scandal”), the sequel sees our American sex-mad author (Stone) relocated to London where she’s under investigation for the death of a football player (as we see in the first few minutes of the film, she and the sportsman were getting ‘each other off’ in a speeding car that ultimately ended up in the bottom of a river) and the Crown assigning a psychiatrist (David Morrissey) to suss her out.

Naturally, because she sees him for an easy target, Tramell returns to Dr.Glass, even after she’s escaped any criminal conviction. Seems she wants treatment for her ‘Risk Addiction’ – pretty much what the designation sounds like it is, someone that gets a woody by living on the edge - and thinks he’s the one that might be able to help her. Hmm.

Throw in a shady copper, an older biddable woman, Glass’s dissatisfied ex-wife, her new lover, and a nutty old shrink with a preposterous hairdo, and you’ve got quite a full bemire. Unfortunately, not one of them could keep this warm.

It took them 15 years to hobble this frightful mess together? In its current form, it’ll be professed as no more than a desperate endeavour at reliving some much-needed B.O glory for Stone – who could never quite top her “Basic Instinct” success - and I’m afraid to say, that’s being kind.

Seems Stone has even forgot how to play the manipulative Tramell, simply relying on cheesy quips and over-acting to get her through this time. Whenever she opens her mouth – and anyone else in the film, for that matter – it results in a laugh.

Then, it could be worse. She could be her luckless co-star. As Trammel’s new cradle chum, British actor David ‘Who?’ Morrissey is so inexcusably bad and so transparently bland – his face encompasses the one fatigued expression for the film’s duration, looking like a guy that’s taken one too many Talohexane- that it’ll have everyone wondering why the heck he was chosen, especially considering the producers apparently passed on some much bigger, more talented actors – like Kurt Russell, Bruce Greenwood and Robert Downey Jr – over the film’s protracted development-phase. Morrissey may have well been a pillow; he would’ve produced about as much heat in the bedroom scenes.

The Joe Eszterhas-written original wasn’t a fantastic film, but it was an enjoyable one – it had a gorgeous look to it, some really well choreographed sex scenes, and for the most part, quite an engaging storyline. This, on the other hand, couldn’t even get the sex bit right, and admittedly, that’s what quite a few will be coming to see. The few bits of rumpy-pumpy that the movie has are about as hot as walking on cement bare feet on a winter’s morning - yep, not at all. As for the storyline? What storyline? It’s a complete mess, not to mention about as electrifying as watching a second coat-dry on the exterior of a rusty dingy. Seems nobody even checked to make sure it made any sense either before greenlighting the beast. In fact, everything here is a shambles, so much so that “Basic Instinct 2” is going to go down in history as not only one of the worst sequels of all time, but also one of the worst films of all time. Come video, it may just have an ‘Alan Smithee’ credit festooned to its title sequence.

Rubbing two HB pencils against each other will get you hotter.

*Review by Clint Morris,


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