Firstly, everyone wants to know whether Basic Instinct 2 delivers on its prequel with another money shot.
Does Sharon Stone part her legs to reveal the meaning of life to the male object of her character’s sociopathic intentions?
Yes, it’s the question on many curious lips. But I won’t spill the beans here. Why water down the anticipation and loosen the tension?
It’s been over a decade since Sharon Stone rose from starlet to screen goddess in what now seems a B-grade crime thriller, albeit one that lovingly conjured Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo with its plot about a secretive seductive woman, its hypnotic musical theme and San Franciscan setting.
While Sharon Stone’s bisexual crime novelist, whose fictional murders had an uncanny tendency to come true, was predatory, dangerous and not the best role model, she was a breakthrough character for Hollywood’s portrayal of queer women in 1992.
But now that Hollywood and the world have moved on from ice picks and Michael Douglas, the question arises: how to move Catherine Tramell on to 2006?
Rather simply: go to London and up the ante, which the film clearly aims to do from its randy opening moments as Tramell has high-speed sex with a footballer in a Spyker Laviolette that climaxes with a crash into the Thames.
An accident -“ or was it murder?
When Detective Roy Washburn (David Thewlis) asks psychologist Michael Glass (David Morrissey) to assess Tramell, Glass decides she’s a risk addict.
Knowing a satisfying challenge when she sees it, Catherine sets out to test his theory.
Of course, he is intrigued -“ and aroused -“ much to his undoing.
Catherine Tramell is a relentless sociopathic killer, seducing all -“ men and women -“ in her path with a funky retro wardrobe and lean sexy body to boot. Or is she?
No one seems to think so except Glass, not even his mentor Dr Gardosh (Charlotte Rampling), yet people around him start dying.
In Basic Instinct 2‘s English rendering, Tramell’s American arrogance and menacing sexuality (and the helpless fawning of the men around her) are accidentally converted to satire.
How ridiculous and overplayed it seems! The sex is pass?gratuitous. While the Hitchcockian ambiguity of Basic Instinct remains, Tramell is more a caricature of her former self.
Having said that, the film has some genuinely tense and brutal moments. After all, London is the home town of Jack the Ripper and gore is something it understands well.
Despite the film’s annoying plot, Sharon Stone is focused and on the money, although she alone -“ I know this is hard to believe -“ may not be enough to save Basic Instinct 2.