ReelTalk Movie Reviews  

New Reviews
Jurassic World Domini...
Jazz Fest: A New Orle...
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue ...
more movies...
New Features
Poet Laureate of the Movies
Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks
Score Season #71
more features...
ReelTalk Home Page
Contact Us
Advertise on ReelTalk

Listen to Movie Addict Headquarters on internet talk radio Add to iTunes

Buy a copy of Confessions of a Movie Addict

Main Page Movies Features Log In/Manage

Rate This Movie
 Above AverageAbove AverageAbove AverageAbove Average
 Below AverageBelow Average
Rated 2.97 stars
by 2153 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Baser Instinct
by Diana Saenger

If the tagline for Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction -- "Everything interesting begins in the mind" -- is supposed to be the theme of the movie, why is there so much emphasis on the body here, particularly Sharon Stone's? It's been over a decade since Basic Instinct drew gasps for the over-sexed and callous character Stone played. Although many of today's moviegoers haven't seen the original movie, that really doesn't matter. Only one scene in this sequel refers to the previous film.

Stone's character hasn't changed much. Crime novelist Catherine Tramell (Stone) is once again leaving dead bodies in her wake. Yet Stone herself looks even better than she did in the original 1992 movie. How can that be? Makeup? Good lighting? Surgery? (She may deny having a face job, but topless scenes leave little doubt about other surgeries.) She's absolutely stunning, and director Michael Caton-Jones and cinematographer Gyula Pados make sure of that. The rest of the film may be murky and dull, but physically, it's hard to take your eyes off Stone. 

The opening scene with Catherine driving her stoned boyfriend, a famous sports star, 100 miles per hour through the streets of London (where not another car appears) while he's doing sexual things to her sets the tone for this movie immediately. Think semi-porn on the big screen.

When Catherine gets so carried away by her orgasm, she plows the car right into the river. She survives, her boyfriend doesn't. She's eventually charged with manslaughter, and Scotland Yard Detective Roy Washburn (David Thewlis), who has some history with her, wants Catherine in jail. When the case looks weak, he calls his friend, psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) to evaluate her.

Before she can bat her eyelashes and straddle a chair, Catherine has Michael under her spell and begins a seductive game that will rival anything he's ever experienced. In the courtroom, Catherine delivers the stare of all movie stares as Michael lists one awful and dangerous trait about her after another. He claims she's a risk to herself and vows that more people will die because of her.

When she beats the rap, Catherine approaches Michael and asks him to be her therapist. In between luring him in with a skimpy outfit and lurid sexual behavior in his office, Catherine claims she knows all the ugly things he said about her are true, but she wants to change.

Michael realizes he's getting drawn in and already has enough problems in his life. He's freshly divorced, and his wife is dating a journalist who's trying to write a negative piece about a past case of Michael's that didn't go well. Unable to shake the hold Catherine has on him, Michael confides in his mentor Dr. Milena Gardosh (Charlotte Rampling). She realizes he's falling for his patient and warns him he needs to remove himself as her therapist.

As more bodies show up, all somehow connected to Catherine, Michael starts following her. What he sees is appalling and yet somehow even more tempting. It seems watching her have wild, intense, random sex with anyone, all while aware that he's watching, leaves Michael out of control. He reads Catherine's latest novel about a therapist, which only raises more questions. Is she killing her victims as research for her book? When Michael finally gives in to the sexy omnipotent killer, there's no turning back.

Caton-Jones expects the script by Leora Barish and Henry Bean to carry on from Joe Eszterhas's original movie. Although attempting to be clever with who-done-it cliches, the movie ends up as confusing. The more the story jumps from one improbable situation to another, the more you want to get up and leave. Caton-Jones's absurd steering of Stone in pure sexual scenes with thown-in sexual acts, displaying no passion or connection to anything, soon evokes snickers and sighs from the audience.  

With her incredible looking wardrobe and provocative poses, Stone comes across more like a model in a high-dollar photo shoot than a character in a thriller. There’s absolutely no chemistry between her and Morrissey as their characters swing back and forth between friend and foe -- and this drives the film into further boredom.

Basic Instinct was compelling because of its great direction, performances and surprises. Basic Instinct 2, as with many remakes, doesn’t even come close. When will Hollywood learn?

(Released by Sony Pictures and rated “R” for strong sexuality, nudity, violence, language and some drug content.)

Read Diana Saenger’s reviews of classic movies at

© 2024 - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Website designed by Dot Pitch Studios, LLC