Basic Instinct 2
- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2006 1 Jan
There might have been the germ of a meaningful story in the idea for the original Basic Instinct. One could argue that we need movies that show weak-willed men reaping the consequences of sexual misbehavior.
But it defeats the purpose of such a story if the film serves up gratuitous sex scenes and fuel for reckless fantasies, as Basic Instinct did. And it doesn't help if the movie is mind-numbingly dull, like Basic Instinct 2.
One wonders why Sharon Stone, who has turned in memorable performances in worthwhile films like Martin Scorsese's Casino, Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, and even the underrated animated film Antz, would want to return to the role of a murderous sexual exhibitionist. Her performance here is apparently so preposterously campy that some critics are responding by saying she was better as the vampy villain in 2004's disastrous action-flick Catwoman. Is she one of those women who thinks it is somehow "liberating" and "empowering" to encourage males to lust, further objectifying women as sex objects? Or does she need the money?
It's probably safe to say that the bad reviews crushing Michael Caton-Jones's so-called "erotic thriller" are much more entertaining than the movie.
Christopher Lyon (Plugged In) writes, "Basic Instinct 2 seems unlikely to inspire either outrage or ticket sales. The artlessness with which director Michael Caton-Jones constructs this ridiculous movie makes the whole queasy effort feel like some mid-'90s made-for-cable, late-night skin flick. When not utterly incomprehensible, the plot plods through a swamp of inane dialogue as characters spew psychobabble and misdirection. By the time the credits rolled, the bewildering double-reverse cop-out ending left me even less interested in figuring out who killed whom and why."
David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says the film "aspires to film noir, but its shadowy sordidness can't disguise a cartoonish lead performance and an empty, tangled script which distracts with salaciousness to make up for its lack of suspense and intelligence. The Big Sleep would have been a better title, if Raymond Chandler hadn't already used it."
Mainstream reviewerss are panning it, but with creative criticism—like Ty Burr (The Boston Globe), who calls it "absurdly overheated and unforgivably dull … the accidental comedy sensation of the year to date."