Review: BASIC INSTINCT 2 (2006) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Review: BASIC INSTINCT 2 (2006)


Back in 1992, BASIC INSTINCT was a landmark erotic thriller that inspired countless imitators and remained a long-lasting phenomenon even until today. 14 years after the original movie, an unlikely sequel arrives. However, BASIC INSTINCT 2 is one of those sequels that shouldn't been made at the first place, as everything about this limp sequel is terribly pale in comparison to the first movie.

The sequel opens in nighttime London as Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) and her new boy toy, a famous footballer named Kevin Franks (Stan Collymore), are having a 100-mph auto erotica. Kevin is so high on cocaine in the midst of pleasuring Catherine, until he ends up plunging his fast car down into the Thames river. She manages to escape, but he dies. The curious thing is that he appears to have been dead already before the crash, who is apparently paralyzed by curare. Naturally, Catherine is suspected for possible murder charge.

In order to obtain evidence from her, Detective Superintendent Roy Washburn (David Thewlis) enlists top psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) to testify on her whether she's a dangerous sociopath or simply a mere victim. Despite Michael's renowned reputation, he has a dark agenda of his own -- a patient slaughtered his pregnant girlfriend while under his care -- and Catherine, who has a high degree of psychology, naturally sees him as an easy target. After a while, the case is dismissed and Catherine is set free.

Still she comes back for more, insisting that Michael should take her as a patient for therapy sessions. From there, she starts to play sexual mind games against him and as the therapy starts taking place, a series of murders begin to pile up. First victim is a tabloid journalist named Adam Towers (Hugh Dancy), who may have been writing a damaging story about Michel, is found strangled on the bed. Then it's Michael's ex-wife Denise (Indira Varma), who is found dead with her throat slashed inside the stall of a ladies' room at a trendy club. Michael tries hard to piece out the puzzle together, but Catherine is always ahead of the game. That's not all, she continues making his life miserable by picking up on his mentor Dr. Milena Gardosh (Charlotte Rampling) and weird psychiatrist Jakob Gerst (Heathcote Williams), who holds the key to his professional future.

Leora Barish and Henry Bean's screenplay is full of red herrings but their lame writings aren't just good enough to be taken seriously or even campy enough to treat this as a guilty-pleasure entertainment. Director Michael Caton-Jones helms this sorry picture without having a slightest clue what makes the original so popular at the first place. His stilted direction is as dreadful as a cold turkey, while the pace is awfully sluggish to the point I almost ends up dozing off.

Basically what you've come to known from the original is hardly revived in the good way in this sequel. Gone are the guilty pleasure and hard-hitting moments screenwriter Joe Eszterhas managed to color his story so well. Gone are the fiery chemistry between Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas as well as the complicated relationship between them. Gone also are the edge-of-the-seat thrills and memorable murder set-piece, all nixed in favor for more subdued violence and after-the-fact crime scene. But the most disappointing of all is Caton-Jones can't even get the sex scene right. The sex scenes here are either too rushed or terribly chopped up, and that includes the crucial moment between Stone and Morrissey.

The cast, in the meantime, is also a huge disappointment. At the age of 48, Sharon Stone is still looking great but she's reprising her infamous role none of the substantial quality she possessed in the original movie. Instead she's more into her caricature self, where she spends the whole time smirking and smooth-talking her way with plenty of cheesy lines and they are hardly arousing at all. David Morrissey is simply bland and too cold to pull off a convincing role as a male victim. In fact, he has none of the compelling intensity that Michael Douglas had pulled off so remarkably well. And the most frustrating thing about him is his constantly fatigued expression that I felt surprised how come he managed to land the leading role at the first place. The rest of the supporting actors are equally forgettable as well.

Dreary and shockingly tame, BASIC INSTINCT 2 goes down in the movie history as one of the worst sequels ever made.

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