out of Five
Running time: 110
Enjoyably trashy sequel that’s a lot more fun than you might expect, although it’s almost ruined by its ridiculous climax.
What’s it all about?
Sharon Stone reprises the role of bestselling crime novelist Catherine Tramell, who just can’t go anywhere without corpses piling up around her. Now relocated to London, it isn’t long before she’s a suspect in the death of a major sports star (an amusingly sleazy cameo by Stan Collymore).
When police detective Roy Washburn (David Thewlis) asks respected criminal psychiatrist Dr Michael Glass (David Morrissey) to evaluate Tramell, he finds himself mentally and physically drawn to her. And when people close to him start dying in mysterious circumstances, Glass finds his entire world turned upside down.
Basic Instinct is arguably the sine qua non
(look it up!) of the erotic thriller genre, so it’s surprising that it has taken 14 years for the sequel to finally arrive. The good news is that it’s nowhere near as bad as you might expect, largely because Stone knows her role inside out and has movie star charisma in spades.
Morrissey’s performance is much better than the film really deserves. He pulls off a complex blend of pride and barely suppressed rage whilst still remaining sympathetic. Thewlis is good too, nabbing all the best lines and sporting a bizarre Welsh accent.
The London locations are surprisingly effective – there are several lovingly-crafted Apprentice-style pans over the London skyline and Caton-Jones has a lot of fun with the phallic possibilities of the Gherkin. It’s also a treat to hear snatches of Jerry Goldsmith’s wonderful original Basic Instinct score.
The biggest problem is that the sex scenes lack the shock value of the original film and are, frankly, a bit of an embarrassment. It’s no surprise to discover that most of them have actually been cut out. It’s also badly let down by a shock twist ending that’s nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is.
In short, this is a flawed but enjoyably trashy sequel that’s worth seeing for curiosity value alone.
Basic Instinct 2 (18)