Fatal Instinct (1993) Poster

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Surprised the Hell out of me!!
FalloN-223 August 1999
I'd see this movie on the shelf at the video store alot and I'd always pass it up thinking it's just a stupid cheap comedy. Boy was I wrong, I didn't think I'd like it because I thought Armand Assanti was a real serious actor and he wouldn't be funny but 5 minutes in to it when he put that hot dog in his jacket pocket I didn't stop laughing. Since then I've seen this movie so many time and I laugh just as hard as the first time. If you want a real good laugh get this one.
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Noir Spoof Worth A Look
ccthemovieman-125 April 2006
A wild spoof of suspense and film noirs, I appreciated this silly film a little more than most being a fan of "noirs." As with any comedy, the movie is a combination of genuinely laugh-out-loud gags and sight scenes and genuinely stupid lines. It depends on what makes you laugh.

One thing it has for sure: lots of sexual innuendos and just plain overt sexuality. It's yet another one of these PG-13 ratings that is a joke. This is not for kids. Also, this film won't be much for those without a knowledge of classic crime films of the past, from the '40s to the '80s. Many parts of this movie parrot scenes from Fatal Attraction, Body Double, etc. It takes several viewings to catch most of the inside jokes.

Armand Assante is the smooth private detective and Sherilyn Fenn is his attractive and loyal secretary. Kate Nelligan, Sean Young and Christopher McDonald add to the fun. To be frank, I enjoyed this more on the first viewing than I did on the second. After watching it twice, I thought the film would have been better had it been cut 10-15 minutes, and it's only 90 minutes. However, I am not knocking it: it's a fun movie.
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Nothing fatal about this one
Jexxon5 October 2004
Very funny film noir spoof, that's undeservedly criticised. It may lack the "quality" feel of e.g. The Naked Gun, but I think it's almost as funny.

The film looks great, and the jokes aren't as much of a hit-and-miss affair as you could fear. Naturally it's almost essential that you've seen most of the films it takes a crack at (Double Indemnity, Body Heat, Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Sleeping with the Enemy just to mention a few).

But what really elevates Fatal Instinct above similar efforts is the brilliant performance from Armand Assante, who displays a comic timing that I never would have guessed he had. He plays his completely oblivious-to-everything-that's-happening-around-him detective with such dead pan seriousness, that it's impossible not to laugh (the scenes with his skunk little Neddy are hilarious).

Never mind the critics, find this film and see it. [8/10]
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Triple indemnity
jotix1004 October 2005
Carl Reiner, a man that knows about comedy, is the man behind this spoof on the noir genre. Mr. Reiner, working here with David O'Malley's screen play, has created a film that parodies movies like "Double Indemnity", "Basic Instinct", and "Fatal Attraction", among others, with great style.

The result is a film with some clever lines spoken by the cast as though they are acting in the prototype movies that Mr. Reiner is spoofing, with great panache. Not everything works, but when it does, the fun never seems to stop making us laugh.

The cast Mr. Reiner assembled is up to the task. Armand Assante is excellent as Ned Ravine, a man who is a policeman and lawyer and who does some excellent dancing in those red stiletto shoes his character seems to love. Sherilyn Fenn is the loyal secretary Laura. Kate Nelligan does an excellent imitation of Barbara Stanwyck as the scheming wife, Lana. Sean Young has some good moments in the film.

"Fatal Instinct" is a film to watch with a lot of friends. Mr. Reiner shows why he has been one of the best comic writers in America.
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Great Weekend Movie
domino100323 November 2002
I stumbled upon this film late one night on TV a few years ago and laughed so hard that I could barely breathe. Armand Assante plays Ned Ravine, a totally clueless cop/lawyer. He is so clueless that he doesn't see that his wife (Kate Nelligan)is having an affair with a mechanic(Christopher MacDonald), or that his secretary (Sherilyn Fenn) is deeply in love with him (She also has an abusive ex-husband that's looking for her). Into the picture comes Lola Cain(Sean Young), a woman with shoe problems (everything sticks to the bottom of it). She also wants Ned.

This film spoof "Fatal Attraction," "Basic Instinct," and every film noir movie ever made. Funny Carl Reiner film.
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Hilarious parody
mc-jens12 August 2003
This film has been repeated like 4 times on cable TV here in Sweden in the past year! I watched it the first showing (last year) and it is SO my type of movie. I read what it was about and thought I had to see it since I had seen some of the movies it made fun of. All I can say is that most, or all the jokes are so hilarious. They are very "kind" or shall I say "simple" ones, but this is the kind of movie you watch when you don't want anything deep, but just a funny movie which is "easy watching". Not only is it funny, it also has the beautiful Sherilyn Fenn which is very nice of course :) I highly recommend you see it, because even though I didn't "laugh my *** off", it was such an amusing movie to watch!

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" On the Count of Monte Christo ? " Not guilty!
thinker16913 October 2008
When a producer selects the actors and actresses for a film, it's usually in his mind what he is looking for. The selection Mr. Carl Reiner made in this film "Fatal Instinct" is nothing short of incredible. Taking a cue from the film parried here ( Fatal Attraction) from the moment it begins, you will begin laughing, so one had better have a good grip on his chair. Whoever selected straight actors or at least actors with a serious streak to do comedy knew they were trolling for gold. What they achieved is memorable in various films, like airplane and Horror Movie. In this hilarious offering, Reiner combines the works of the 1950's black/white films with modern murder venues. Armand Assante is incredible as Ned Ravine, super sleuth and lawyer. Sherilyn Fenn as Laura Lincolnberry, Kate Nelligan is Lana Ravine and Sean Young playing Lola Cain. All take the hero for a mind-bending spin and spoofs and succeed. However, the best selection for real comedy out of his element is none other than James Remar (The Warriors) , who plays, Max Shady. The outcome is fantastic. You've got to see this film for all it's humor. ***
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A reminder of what good spoofs are made of
mix-34 November 2001
Strange, but when I think about this one, the expression "oldie but goodie" comes to mind. After sitting through countless comedies and parodies with gross and often times just plain bad jokes (try scary movie) one might wonder if it is actually possible to have a really brilliant spoof without insulting humor. Well, it is. And just to see how good a well-made parody can be, try this one. Of course, it would help having been a late 80s early 90s movie fan, but that is not a prerequisite. And, without going into too many details, this one effectively proves that a parody/comedy can actually be original.
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Why the hell is this rated so low?!?
craigman18 May 2006
I don't understand how a person can watch a very funny and entertaining movie like this and then go on IMDb and give it a low rating! What is wrong with these people?! Do they have no sense of humor? They are probably the same people who didn't see the humor in Airplane! This movie obviously spoofs, or parodies (please forgive me if I don't know the difference!) noir movies and murder thrillers like Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction, hence the title. Armande Asanti is funnier than most people who are supposed to be funny, like Will Farrell! Also we have the classic beauty Sherilyn Fenn, looking her best as an old fashioned secretary. There are more laugh out loud parts than I can count. They tackle a lot of the clichés that have always bugged me, like when the bad person is "killed", they "come to" and try to kill the good person again, and again! The comedic timing is right on the mark, unlike so many unfunny "comedies" that have come out recently. Also, this movie is light on the violence, language and sexual content, so even easily offended people can enjoy it.
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Fatally Funny: Hilarious Comedy Out Of The Early 90's
FloatingOpera721 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Fatal Instinct (1993): Starring Armand Assante, Kate Nelligan, Sherilyn Fenn, Sean Young, Christopher McDonald, James Remar, Tony Randall, Michael Cumpsty, Clarance Clemons...Director Carl Reiner...Writer David O'Malley Released in 1993, this comedy spoof film is top notch in much the same lines of The Naked Gun/Leslie Nielson movies and or the earlier Airplane! which means there are endless sequences of visual jokes, even if they are unbelievably unrealistic. Armand Assante (yes a serious actor in a comic role really works although they could have easily used Leslie Nielson for the part) stars as the victim of the scheming Lola Cain (Sean Young) who will stop at nothing to see his marriage ruined. She is a parody of the psycho bitches played by Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction" and Katherine Tramell played by Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. She hams it up as a scheming, evil temptress. Like the title suggests, the movie is a cross between Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct. Those were the two most standard thrillers during the early 90's period. Both films starred Michael Douglas as the target of a scheming, sexually powerful and psychotic, dangerous woman. The laughs keep on coming as the obvious parodies are executed. I.E. the famous Interrogation Scene in Basic Instict, the murder in the bath tub and the cooked rabbit in Fatal Attraction. Also on here are parodies of Sleeping With The Enemy starring Julia Roberts and Patrick Bergin, a 1991 thriller about a husband who is obscessed with his own wife and who likes to have his own things in the house arranged his way. (same element here only funnier!) This movie is really great comedy and really will take you back to the 90's. The 90's is long gone and many were too little to remember everything in detail. But it was a time in which movies were full of thrillers. I wish they had made a spoof of "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" on this film too. It was a time of laughing at criminals and their schocking crimes. Remember the Melendez Brothers ? Remember Lorena Bobbit ? And let's not forget the secret plotting of Tonya Harding against Nancy Carrigan. All this happened in the 90's. This was the time of the O.J. Simpson trial after all. I really recommend this movie. Many can easily dismiss it as cheap comedy but there are some genuinely comic moments, such as Armand Assante and Sean Young's lovemaking scene, the final part of the movie is funny too. A must have for fans of comedies of the 90's.
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Hilarious Spoof
numan-229 August 1999
Fatal Instinct is one of those guilty pleasures. It's incredibly silly and very funny. Some of the dialogue sounds dead on fast-talking early detective thriller, but the actions are outrageous and the physical comedy non-stop. If you liked the Naked Gun series, you'll love this one.
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Shameless spoof of other movies, somewhat funny.
TxMike7 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is a parody of such movies as 'Basic Instinct' and 'Fatal Attraction', and others with strained male/female relationships. My neighbor Ron loaned it to me, a budget DVD.

Armand Assante is Ned Ravine, cop and lawyer. So he can arrest you, read you your rights (with the help of cue cards), and then defend you in court.

Sherilyn Fenn is Laura Lincolnberry, sweet, pretty assistant who secretly is in love with Ned.

Kate Nelligan is Ned's wife, Lana Ravine, who is having a torrid affair with Frank, the auto mechanic who never seems to finish the job, played ably by Christopher McDonald (snotty golf professional in 'Happy Gilmore'). The joke is that Ned only sees a drawn out repair job, and is oblivious to the love affair. Tony Randall also does a good turn as Judge Skanky.

It would be a mistake to call this a good movie. It has a number of funny moments, but I found it mostly a series of jokes woven into a thin story. However, I found it worthwhile just to see Sherilyn Fenn.
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More "gold" than "garbage"
quridley14 June 2017
You don't have to know the erotic thrillers being spoofed to enjoy this Carl Reiner film. Its smart slapstick in his usual absurdist and cinematic style. Its corny stuff but its totally self-aware cheekiness. I found myself LOL'ing quite a bit and also enjoying the acting, cinematography and editing. Reiner is a master comedy director and this is as enjoyable as The Man With Two Brains and Summer Rental. This one just doesn't appeal to as big or hip an audience.
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Funny, but dated
gridoon201820 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A spoof of the erotic thriller genre in the "Naked Gun" mold, "Fatal Instict" must have been funnier back in 1993. Now, a lot of its references to other movies ("Sleeping With The Enemy", "Cape Fear", "Body Heat"), though still recognizable, have lost much of their topicality. The film is full of "meta" gags which are sometimes clever, sometimes derivative. The cast is certainly game: Armand Assante is perfectly deadpan, and the women (devious Kate Nelligan, sweet Sherilyn Fenn and slinky Sean Young) are terrific. Also, Carl Reiner's direction doesn't over-rush the pacing like most such spoofs, and Richard Gibbs' music score is spot-on. **1/2 out of 4.
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Fatal Humor!
OllieSuave-0075 August 2015
This is a funny spoof in the ranks of the Naked Gun series, Airplane! and Spy Hard, where Armand Assante plays attorney/cop Ned Ravine, whose wife Lana (Kate Nelligan) is having an affair with a mechanic (Christopher MacDonald) and is plotting to murder her husband for the insurance money. Meanwhile, Ned is seduced by femme fetale Lola Caine (Sean Young) and his secretary, Laura Lincolnberry (Sherilyn Fenn), has a crush on him.

The acting is well done and contributes to the hilariousness of the film, which spoofs a handful of murder mysteries and thrillers including Sleeping with the Enemy and Basic Instinct. Sean Young does a humorous imitation of Sharon Stone's character in Basic Instinct and Sherilyn Fenn does a great Sleeping with the Enemy spoof; it made me crack up at the towel-lining scenes! In addition, Armand Assante's bumbling and obliviousness to everything around him is priceless! There are non-stop gags and surprises from start to finish that will leave you horse-laughing. Even with the amount of comedy in the film, the actors kept their expressions serious and collected, rather than forcing out slapstick puns. This makes you appreciate the humor more.

There isn't much plot to the story, though, and I wished some of the characters elements, including the abusive husband parody from Sleeping with the Enemy, have been emphasized more. But, other than that, it's enjoyable and fun stuff here. If you're stuck on what to watch but want a good laugh, this film is for you!

Grade B+
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An On Target Spoof of the Film Noir Genre
Gideon2422 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
FATAL INSTINCT is a side-split-tingly funny spoof of film noir dramas, in the AIRPLANE/NAKED GUN mode that offers affectionate winks at films like FATAL ATTRACTION, BASIC INSTINCT, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, and CAPE FEAR, offering consistent laughs thanks, in part, to the self- assured direction of comedy icon Carl Reiner.

Reiner smartly chose to cast strong actors instead of pure comics whose uncanny ability to play the funny material with completely straight faces is what makes the film so funny.

Armand Assante is surprisingly funny as Ned Ravine, a cop and a lawyer who is being cheated on by a scheming wife (Kate Nelligan), being pursued by a sexy client (Sean Young)and being loved from afar by his faithful secretary (Sherilyn Fenn). There are also funny turns from Christopheer McDonald as Nelligan's dim-witted lover, James Remar, in a perfect take off of Max Cady from CAPE FEAR, and Tony Randall as a judge.

The gags come fast and furious and most of them work, there's even a very funny cameo by Bob Euker, as a color commentator for a trial. Just sit back, relax, don't think about it too much and there's a lot of fun to be had here.
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Tries Way Too Hard
burkemancometh17 April 2005
I absolutely hated this movie. I remember seeing it back in 1994 when I was 11, and hating it even then. Of course, back then I hadn't seen the movies it was spoofing, such as Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Sleeping With The Enemy. Over ten years later, I have seen all these movies, so I thought, "Hey, I'll give this movie another try".

I recently saw it again, and still thought it was terrible. I read a review Roger Ebert gave of it, and he gave the movie one and a half stars. Roger, in my opinion, was being too nice.

Carl Reiner has directed some great movies (i.e. The Jerk), but this is easily his worst. The jokes in the movie ranged from mediocre to just flat out awful and predictable. One of the worst is in the courtroom scene, when the bailiff calls for a ten minute recess. Sure enough, the gag was that everyone went outside and played. Get it? Recess? Ha ha- not! Comedy is indeed hard, but this movie shows that editing your scripts is always a good idea. The kind of humor when the cast acts seriously while the gags speak for themselves worked well for movies like Airplane, Naked Gun, and Hot Shots, but not for this movie. I can't say if it was the acting, the jokes, or the sheer dislike for the characters, but something just wasn't clicking. I'm just curious as to how the cast members felt about this movie as they were doing it. Armand Assante in some scenes looked as if he was ready for Carl to yell "CUT!" any minute. He did not look comfortable doing this comedy. Sean Young looked like she was trying to have fun with it, and is pretty convincing in some scenes. Above all, though, something went terribly wrong with this movie. If you want to rent this movie, I would suggest not paying any more than one dollar for it on video.
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A little over the top
IByte !26 April 2000
This comedy was entertaining, but not the best I have seen. The movie contains quite a lot of silly scenes, and that can be funny from time to time. The problem here is that most of the scenes are just a bit *too* silly.

The movie is comparable to the Naked Gun movies, but in my opinion NG was just a bit better.

My vote: 6 out of 10.
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A night of laughter
Ahmed Khaled7 March 1999
The fine touch of comedy mixed with the charm of the three actressess. Assante is great and has a real sense of humour as the famous detective/lawyer who defends his arrests in the courts. The film has many touches of famous movies as "Sleeping with the enemy", Cape fear" and many movies that I may haven't seen yet.
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Hilarious, yet flawed
IlyaG12 April 2002
Written in the style of Airplane!, Top Secret! and The Naked Gun, this is a hilarious spoof that I find quite entertaining. There are numerous laugh-out-loud jokes and scenes throughout the movie (like when the characters suddenly begin talking in Yiddish), yet there are those that desperately try to be funny but aren't (such as the entire court room scene near the end). This movie is considerably funnier if you have watched the dozens of movies Fatal Instinct is spoofing. If you've not seen them, however, you will not be lost in the story. You'll merely sit there not realizing that you've just seen a comedy bit.

As for the rest of the movie, it's filmed on what appears to be a shoe-string budget. But then again, there's nothing in the film requiring a big budget to begin with. The cinematography feels cheap and the direction is sometimes boring, but the actors (particularly Assante) provide great performances. The storyline is ridiculously boring, and there are some spoof jokes that seem incredibly out of place and unfunny (such as when Sean Young's character takes the Ravine family rabbit for a roller coaster ride, a la Fatal Attraction).

Good jokes in the dialogue and original, if cheap, side gags distract from a poor overall screenplay. This isn't the best movie in the genre, but it holds it's own. This movie is probably even better than one or two of the Naked Gun films. Fans of the genre will be thoroughly entertained by it. Others might not appreciate the humor.
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Sporadically funny movie spoof
jhaggardjr31 January 2001
Take the word "Fatal" out of the title of "Fatal Attraction. Then take the word "Instinct" out of the title of "Basic Instinct". Put the two words together and you have "Fatal Instinct", a sometimes funny comedy spoof of sexy suspense thrillers such as "Fatal Attraction" and "Basic Instinct" with a little "Body Heat" and "The Postman Always Rings Twice" thrown into the mix as well as other movies of this genre. "Fatal Instinct" isn't the best of movie takeoffs but it does have some moments that made me laugh. The funniest thing about this movie is watching Armand Assante do comedy. Here is an actor who usually does drama, and when I saw him in one scene where he's dancing around in women's high heel shoes I couldn't help but laugh. Sean Young is also very funny as the blonde bombshell who's also the femme fatale of the picture. Kate Nelligan and Sherilyn Fenn don't fare quite as well as Young (as Assante's evil wife and secretary, respectably), but it's still fun to see them here in this movie. Carl Reiner direted this goofy film as he tries to go for the type of film his one-time partner used to make, Mel Brooks. Both filmmakers haven't fared as well lately like they used to. Over the years Brooks has fared better at comedy spoofs than Reiner has, but "Fatal Instinct" is at least better than Brooks' last two movies: 1993's "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" and 1995's "Dracula: Dead And Loving It"). However this could have been a great comedy which it ain't.

**1/2 (out of four)
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Fatal Instinct
Coxer9910 August 1999
Cheating wife plots to kill her busy husband in this sporadically funny spoof of cop movies and sexy thrillers such as "Fatal Attraction." You would think you'd expect something better from Carl Reiner; at least I was.
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Nostalgic Noir parody....
triple812 June 2004
I have seen this colorful parody movie twice now and the first time it was allright though I never felt it was great. This movie spoofs so many movies though, there ARE a few really funny moments and laughs-just look at the title!

The movie features an incredible cast and it was fun to see some of my faves BUT(and this is a big but) when I saw it again I really found it kind of boring. I think at the time it came out it was funny but it doesn't hold up well and having seen alot more parody movies since then, I'll admit some of the jokes here aren't very good. It maybe ok to watch as a late night or if one just likes this type of movie in general(which I do!) but there are really better spoof movies around.
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