Like most people at the time, I was fascinated with the original “Basic Instinct.” The famous leg-crossing scene with Sharon Stone was reason enough to see the movie. Most of us really couldn’t believe that it took place as it did way back in 1992; some 14 years ago. Therefore, I admit to being curious about the long awaited sequel “Basic Instinct 2.” I wondered if the movie would be as provocative. I wondered if the story could be as evasive. And, of course, I wondered if Sharon Stone could recreate the steamy, sultry, raunchy Catherine Tramell after so many years had past. As it turns out, the answer to some of my “wondering” was yes and some were a definitive NO; but not necessarily in that order.
In the sequel, American author Tramell (Stone) is now living in London, continuing her decadent lifestyle. She, of course, manages to get herself into trouble once again. This time she is involved in a car accident that leads to the death of a famous British athlete. Need I explain that drugs and sex are the predominant reasons behind the accident? I won’t go into detail here except to say that it is a worthy sequel to Stone’s last turn in this role.
Remaining true to form, Tramell remains evasive when the police question her, so they decide to bring in a therapist – – Dr. Michael Glass (played by David Morrissey) to evaluate her for trial. The doctor is, himself, in a bit of a delima, coming out of a divorce and facing the resurrection of an old situation that could effectively ruin his career. Although he fights against it, Glass gets sucked into Tramell’s web of lies and deceit. Each time that he thinks he has her figured out, she diverts suspicion in another direction.
Is the detective in charge of Tramell’s case as upstanding as he appears to be? Is Glass’s ex-wife Denise (played by Indira Varma) trying to sabotage the doctor’s career? With each successive session, the doctor begins to realize that his patient knows far too much about him and his past. Finally, he realizes that he is trapped and cannot escape without sacrificing himself or someone that he loves. All the while, more and more people that travel in both the author’s and the doctor’s circles are suffering questionable fates of their own.
Much as the original film, the twists and turns in the plot – – none of which are ever answered – – keep everyone guessing. Obviously, I can’t reveal the ending without spoiling the film. What I will say, however, is that is every bit as ambiguous as the ending in the original film. It begs the audience to draw their own conclusions which most will do without much difficulty at all.
Director Michael Caton-Jones is building himself a reputation in psychological thrillers and, rightfully so as he does an excellent job of keeping all the balls up in the air and the smoke and mirrors in place throughout the film. I’m not really sure that he personally had that much influence on Stone’s performance as it is basically a repeat of her original turn. However, I will say that I wasn’t particularly impressed with the performances that came from the supporting cast. They were adequate at best; certainly not noteworthy.
David Morrissey was ill equipped to be Michael Douglas’s successor. He simply didn’t have the intensity or fire that should have been brought to his role.
This movie had very few moments of its own. The screenplay, written by Henry Bean, tried very hard to capture the same intrigue of the original film but it was simply a poor attempt to repeat movie history (albeit a shady history). Try as I might, I can’t find much redeemable about this film. I even found the photography boring which is saying a lot with all of the backdrops available for the screen. I’ll give it one star out of five for the ending, which I found intriguing if not engrossing.
Mario Kassar, Joel B. Michaels, Joe Eszterhas, Andrew G. Vagna, Mark Albela, Volker Shauz, and Denise O’Dell produce this movie which was, of course, rated R for nudity, language, and violence.