What do your instincts tell you about "Basic Instinct 2"?

by JD Warnock on March 31, 2006

in Print Reviews

“Basic Instinct 2” is excruciating. It is little more than a tawdry sex romp, of the variety that might have been shown only on late night Cinemax in the Eighties. If the astonishingly bad screenplay and laughable acting were to become engaged in some contest to see which of the two was, in fact more ridiculous, it would be a close race for the prize.

Yes, for anyone who doesn’t already know Sharon Stone gets very naked in the film. She also spends the majority of the movie wearing what should be provocative clothing, but is instead… just vulgar. Getting naked on the way up in the original “Basic Instinct” may have helped her blossoming career, but the nudity and embarrassing performance in this film may mark her stalled career’s ultimate decline.

You notice a draft?

It is the goal of any critic worth their salt to attempt to find something positive to discuss about any film, but that may fall outside the realm of possibility in this case. So much of “Basic Instinct 2” can only be described as unfortunate. This is the worst kind of film. It is neither good, nor is it so bad that it can be mocked openly and enjoyed for its excellent qualities as a unmitigated disaster.

For instance, “Battlefield Earth” was an exquisite masterpiece of truly awful cinema. In my circle of friends it spawned drinking games and talking gift shop toys that elevated that bomb to “really bad” cult-movie status.

“BS2” (an appropriate acronym, if you ask me) also lacks the low-production quality of cheap horror movies that creates an air of forgiveness and makes them so fun to watch. As it is, someone paid a lot of money for this mess.

The male lead opposite Stone is David Morissey (“Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”). Morissey’s role would seem to have been written with Clive Owen in mind, or at least that is the lasting impression given Morissey’s mildly nuanced “poor-mans Clive Owen”-style performance. Even the often likable David Thewlis could not improve the film. Thewlis’ Detective Roy Washburn is certainly the most interesting and well-acted character in the film, but in the end all his attempts to elevate the film were unsuccessful. This is most notable when Thewlis gives one of the finest William Shatner-sized, unintentionally hysterical death scenes in recent memory.

Ode to furrowed brow-A video poem by David Morrissey

If the worst experience in a theater is what you are after this Spring, go ahead and take a crack at this gem. If not, feel free to guiltlessly pick up whatever “Ishtar”-like monstrosity your little heart desires and celebrate your good fortune knowing that your choice is not this film. In fact, from now on you can encourage your friends and family when they are down or troubled with the phrase…”Well, at least you’re not watching “Basic Instinct 2.” Come to think of it, that is the one positive thing to be said of “BS2.” It has set the new watermark for bottom of the barrel, and as a result with this simple phrase, it may also serve as an encouragement to people around the world who are just having a bad day.

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