Novelist Catherine Tramell is once again in trouble with the law, and Scotland Yard appoints psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass to evaluate her. Though, like Detective Nick Curran before him, Glass is entranced by Tramell and lured into a seductive game.
Crime novelist Catherine Tramell is living in London, and becomes the center of police investigation (yet again) when her football player boyfriend drowns in a car accident and it is revealed that he was already dead because of a drug overdose before Tramell drove the car into water. Police psychoanalyst Dr. Michael Glass is called for examining Tramell, and is intrigued by the seductive and manipulative woman. On the other hand , his friend Det. Roy Washburn is sure Tramell is guilty. Tramell asks Glass to treat her for her 'risk addiction' problem, and with each therapy session , Glass gets more and more suspicious about her intentions. As more and more murders are committed, including that of Glass's ex-wife, Glass becomes obsessed with proving Tramell's guilt even though the evidence is contradictory .Written by
It's not like I have overwhelmingly fond memories of Verhoeven's original pants-down shocker - it always struck me as a glossy, well-made airport-novel-of-a-movie. Thrilling, sexy trash, but trash nonetheless. It was also a film that tapped into a certain sexual zeitgeist. After a decade of anti-sex AIDS-induced hysteria, a film about a wildly-sexual hotbod who thrill-kills to heighten her sexual pleasure was pretty enticing stuff. Basic Instinct 2 was always going to struggle to provide the same social relevance and immediacy, so the fact that it's desperate attempts at raunchiness are so lame can sort-of be overlooked. All it really had to provide was that thin veneer of titillation and a mildly engaging story and all would have been watchable. That it resoundingly fails on so many levels, and in such a way to be a career nadir for everyone involved, is really quite extraordinary to watch. Let's state the obvious for starters - Sharon Stone is too old for the part of sexual magnet Catherine Trammell. What was so photogenic thru Verhoeven's lens looks like mutton dressed as lamb in the hands of gun-for-hire Michael Caton-Jones, who's flat, drab colours and static camera render her undeniable beauty totally moot. I like Sharon Stone a lot, but if the first film launched her career, BI2 could kill it. She has no chemistry with stuffed-shirt David Morrissey - their only sex scene is embarrassing too watch. His dough-faced mamma's boy of a character made me yearn for the swaggering, orange-skin machismo of Michael Douglas. Supporting turns by David Thewlis and Charlotte Rampling waste these fine actors on talky exposition scenes and cliché-heavy posturing. And what of the much-touted sexual shenanigans? Poorly-lit, fleetingly-glimpsed, as utterly mainstream as an episode of Desperate Housewives - the European sensibilities that Verhoeven brought to the sexual content of the first film are sorely missed. Don't watch this film for carnal thrills - there are none and what there is is tragic. The film is, as a whole, convoluted to the point of utter confusion, boring and laughable. The last 40 minutes in particular, where you come to the realisation that the film is, in fact, not going to go anywhere of interest at all, are particularly gruelling and hilarious in equal measure. As a failed sequel, Basic Instinct 2 will come to occupy similar cinematic ground as Exorcist 2 The Heretic, Beyond The Poseidon Adventure and XXX2. As a vanity project, it rivals Battlefield Earth in its misconception. As a multi-million dollar piece of Hollywood film-making, it's a travesty that will be hard to top as the years worst.
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