Review: Basic Instinct 2

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Somewhere buried within the mists of steaming hot-tubs, intertwined legs, ravishing love scenes, and razor-sharped tension, Hollywood has misplaced the erotic thriller. When was the last time we had a decent erotic thriller that turned us on and scared us all at the same time? No, I am not talking about 8mm 2 with Johnathon Schaech.

Back in 1992, Basic Instinct captivated audiences with its steamy, unforgettable love scenes and intertwining plot. The film made Sharon Stone a star and proved that Michael Douglas was the king of the sexual thriller. Instinct was the second in his erotic thriller trilogy coupled with Fatal Attraction and Disclosure.

Now almost 15 years later, Hollywood and Stone try to revisit the magic that spawned one of the classic erotic thrillers of all time. This time, the film is set in London and Stone's character Catherine Trammell is once again accused of murder. Here her prey is a psychologist named Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey), who has been hired by the courts to give Trammell an psychological evaluation.

From the get-go, Trammell is obsessed with seeing what makes this doctor tick. He seems to pride himself on his work and he loves to be in control. Everything in his life is timed precisely and to the second.

Like a proverbial wrecking ball, Trammell begins her pursuit and we watch as the valiant Dr. Glass becomes a ball of yarn to this devilish cougar. But does everything appear as it seems? Is she really that deviant or is Glass finally at a breaking point?

What is probably the most shocking thing about this sequel is how utterly tame and unsexy it actually is. There are two love scenes that last a total of maybe 4-5 minutes and for the rest of the film all we get is people talking. The talking almost always leads to nothing, but it is there anyhow. The plot of the film is vacuous and unless you find a way into the mind of Glass, you are lost.

Stone's performance is about the same as she did almost 15 years ago, except this time its feels wooden, clich├ęd, and raunchy. Stone is never bad or uninteresting, but watching her is more like watching the aftermath of an animal hit by a car than witnessing an actress become enveloped in a role. Basically, it's a bloody mess with some twitching, but for some reason you can't look away.

I was bored to almost the point of tears with this film because of all the editing and trimming of the tension-filled sex scenes and chemistry between the two leads. In the end, we basically get one of those bad late-night cable thrillers like 8mm 2, except with less skin. In some circumstances, those late-night Cinemax films might even be better than this multi-million dollar waste of time. (1.5 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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