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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Basic Instinct 2 (review)

Catherine Tramell’s secret is out — has been since Basic Instinct. We know she’s a killer, which removes most what suspense there might have been in her second screen appearance and leaves very little for fun here beyond guffawing at the outrageous caricature of dangerous sexiness that pop culture inflated her into in the intervening decade, which this flick is perfectly willing to indulge. She’s the Hannibal Lecter of erotic murder mysteries, a gal who started out intriguing and left us guessing as to the extent of her pyschopathy but here descends to the ludicrously cartoonish. Sharon Stone (Catwoman) struts around the screen as if daring us not to fall under her spell… and that gets ridiculous, too, because we’re not all as dopey as Dr. Michael Glass (the slightly Liam Neeson-esque Davd Morrissey: Derailed), the London pyschologist she seduces and ensnares and sets up for multiple murders. Catherine is having a ball, and Stone seems to be too, but the audience? Not so much. The awful sex thriller Catherine — she’s a successful novelist — is writing is echoed on the screen, the film folding in on itself in a recursive loop of self-parody.


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MPAA: rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, violence, language and some drug content

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
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