'Basic Instinct 2'
Things do start off promisingly. Catherine Tramell (
Unfortunately, director Michael Caton-Jones ("Doc Hollywood") and writers Leora Barish ("Desperately Seeking Susan") and Henry Bean ("Internal Affairs") view the situation as a chance for a meaningful discussion of a psychological condition they keep referring to as "risk addiction." Repressed British shrink Michael Glass (
Because the discussion of "Basic Instinct 2" must inevitably devolve into talk about the sex scenes, it's important to first note how few exist and how awkward and uninspired they look. After the initial car crash, it's nearly 40 minutes before any boots are knocked and another 20 minutes between the first hint of Stone's naked body. To her credit, Stone looks fantastic, even if her exposure appears to be accompanied by some very careful lighting and some obvious pancake makeup. Caton-Jones has no interest in making the sex erotic -- chocking is the new ice picking, it seems -- and just rushes through the trysts as if they're just encumbrances for viewers who really, really, really want to hear the Psych 101-level discussion of Lacan and Jung.
Earlier this year,
Beyond her willingness to disrobe, Stone is more than a good sport. Retreating to her level of "Diabolique" self-parody, she says every line of come-hither dialogue with a similar sneer and eye-roll, as if begging the film around her to go similarly over-the-top. The only other actor in on the game is
Cinematographer Gyula Pados is trapped in the visual notion that London can only be depicted as a cold and sterile city, which only adds to the sense that everybody involved with "Basic Instinct 2" was being much too respectful of the property. Although "Basic Instinct" was a slick and proficient thriller, it was mostly a guilty pleasure. It'll take more than kinky doings with a belt to get pleasure out of this one.