In 1992, a movie titled “Basic Instinct” emerged from the sequined fabric of Hollywood and forced half the nation to readjust its collective crotch. The scintillating film featured a female novelist whose stories of sex and murder had a funny way of coming true. The leading role was played by none other than the drippingly seductive Sharon Stone, a perfect choice for the role of an erotic ice-pick-wielding writer/temptress.

Morgan Morel
“Basic Instinct 3: Medicaid and Rim Jobs.” (Courtesy of Columbia)

Now, in the spring of 2006, we have the sequel.

It’s cleverly called “Basic Instinct 2.” The movie is about a female novelist whose stories of sex and murder have a funny way of coming true. It features Sharon Stone.

Whose idea was this?

As any conscious fourth-grader that could tell you, 2006 minus 1992 is 14. Fourteen years. That’s enough time to go from gurgling womb fluid to playing competent basketball. It’s also enough time, it turns out, for a certain Stone to fossilize.

“Basic Instinct 2” follows largely the same plot as its predecessor – except it takes place in London, not San Francisco. Novelist Catherine Tramell (Stone, “Broken Flowers”) comes under investigation when she is found to be sexually connected to a recent murder victim. Scotland Yard appoints Dr. Michael Glass (David Morissey, “Derailed”) to psychoanalyze the crazy bitch. Tramell then systematically seduces him with her constant discourse on her masturbatory antics and adventurous sexuality. As she does so, people close to Glass keep dying.

But despite the deaths, he can’t quite keep the reins on his loins and falls into an affair with the ever-dangerous, kinky-in-an-awkward-way woman.

Note carefully that the preceding adjective series did not contain the word “hot.” Tramell is not much of a temptress anymore. Instead, she now resembles infamous Dalmatian-murderer Cruella De Vil – not a good thing when the entire film hinges on the presupposition of her sexual appeal.

Stone tries to play the same character she did in the original, employing breathy articulations and a proclivity for coy, sidelong glances. Unfortunately, she comes off as a hornball soccer mom with delusions of a lost youth, and one who’s had one too many cigarettes at that. And by “one,” I mean “thousands.” In other words, her boobs are bigger, but they’re also, um, lower.

As for the rest of the cast, they don’t really matter. Dr. Glass is little more than an everyman who works in a building that oddly resembles the NCAA Football National Championship trophy. He has an accent. He fills a role. Along with everyone else, his character suffers from a grapefruit-for-brains one-dimensionality, which is heartbreaking when you consider his well developed counterpart Nick (Michael Douglas, “The Game”) from the first movie.

Well, maybe something good could come of this after all. Somebody go ring Sean Connery’s doorbell. We need a new Bond. If Stone can draw out a character this far, why can’t he?

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Basic Instinct 2
At the Showcase and Quality 16
Columbia

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