Basic Instinct 2
Director:Michael Caton-Jones (Memphis Belle, The Jackal, Doc Hollywood, City by the Sea)
Writers: Leora Barish, Henry Bean
Producers: Moritz Borman, Mario Kassar, Joel B. Michaels, Andrew G. Vajna
Starring: Sharon Stone, David Morrissey, Charlotte Rampling, David Thewlis
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 114 min
read my spoiler disclaimer

     The last film I ever expected there to be a sequel for was Basic Instinct. But unfortunately, here it is. BI 1 was the first R rated movie I ever saw in a theater legally. I was excited and the movie turned out to be one of the best psychological thrillers of all time. It was so good that now, thirteen years later (God am I that old?), someone has decided to bring back Catherine Tramell (Stone) and see where her life has taken her. But instead of giving us a true sequel, we're basically given a re-hash.

      Catherine Tramell is back to weave her web of lies and deceit to ruin people's lives. This time though, she's in London for a change. And instead of a cop (hence, no Michael Douglas - there's minus two points right there), her unknowing victim in this film is a renowned psychologist - the best in the business, Michael Glass. Glass is played by a completely miscast David Morrissey. I can understand why the producers cast him; he's probably the only one who would take the role after reading the script. Clive Owen or Pierce Brosnan were names that immediately came to mind that could've filled this role and given a performance that would be ten times better. Morrissey is not glamorous or even especially good looking. He's not even cool (like a Michael Douglas). He stares blankly at the camera for most scenes and has no expression whatsoever. Sad.

      Stone looks pretty damn good for a 48 year-old woman. Still, I was never all that attracted to her fifteen years ago, so she's even less alluring to me now. I'm probably in the minority in that fact, but hey, this is my review. She does flash some breasts in this movie again, but there's no famous leg crossing scene as was the big draw for the first film. She does, however, continue to smoke in places she's not supposed to; just like the first film. Yay. ***sarcastic glee.

      The story is nearly identical to the first film. Tramell is writing a new novel and she needs to take risks and mess with everyone's lives and heads to see where it leads, in order to give her a good story. People die and convenient clues pop up everywhere to point to her as the murderer, but they also could implicate other characters as well. This is what kind of drove me crazy in this story. Anyone who knows anything can see that Trammell is a devious, genius mind and she is screwing and killing everyone. Yet the other characters are too stupid to see all of this. It is so painfully obvious, but the script-writer expects us to suspend our disbelief (remember that term from BI1?) and watch these characters fumble about and do stupid things. It doesn't work. I was just irritated.

      There is something just below the surface of this film that I liked, but that I just can't quite put my finger on. Part of it might be that Tramell is a great character. Her mind is a fun house of intrigue and deception and it is maddening to try and figure her out. Her plot schemes are preposterously impossible, but deep enough that you must think about them hard. Despite the cheesy, campy dialogue at times, you can't help but be almost hypnotized by Stone's devil eyes and her dirty talk. She's just a great character that, now that I think about it, does deserve a sequel, but just not this sequel.

      Near the end of the film, a quick overview of the entire plot of the film is dished back in our faces. And the whole time while it was being explained, I was thinking, "Wow. This sounds like a great plot for a movie." And yet, it is a movie, and it sucked. Odd. The story almost convinced me that this was actually a good movie, then I came back to my senses and realized it's not: the story has been done before (with the same character and music), the acting was crap, the dialogue was insanely stupid and it borders on being boring.

      That last paragraph was a great re-cap of what I thought of this film. But I must admit, I wasn't bored. I did want to see what happens next. There aren't any real sexual shockers like in BI1, but there is enough deviancy to keep the male hearts in the theater racing at times. But it all comes down to the fact that I was just expecting so much more from this movie. Instead of paying good money to see it, go rent the first Basic Instinct and watch that again. It is far superior to this latest attempt by Hollywood to capitalize on a proven name.

IMDb - full cast and crew info
Official site - don't bother.