After re-watching the classic Basic Instinct (1992), we sat down to check out the brand-new sequel, Basic Instinct 2. Since it’s been almost 15 years since the original, we didn’t hold high hopes. Throw in that only Sharon Stone was returning and Michael Douglas was not, and we were thinking this was going to be one of those sequels they waited too long to make, ruining any chance of it being any good.
Sharon Stone, while looking a bit worse for wear, obviously has spent some time at a gym (and a plastic surgeon) lately, as she doesn’t show as much wear as most would expect in Basic Instinct 2. Still, she is obviously older, and isn’t able to carry off the seductiveness of the first film as easily this second time around.
With Michael Douglas bowing out of the sequel, the prospects for a good match similar to the Stone/Douglas match of the first film were slim. Apparently, they were so slim in America, the filmmakers brought the film overseas, eventually pairing Stone up with British actor David Morrissey.
With his prim attitude, Morrissey doesn’t seem to be a very good match at first for Sharon in Basic Instinct 2. As the film progresses, he does manage to grow a little bit on the viewer. As her psychiatrist, his chill law-abiding demeanor at first seems to be her equal, however, and the two work well against each other. It’s nice to see them matching wits, but alas, that doesn’t last as the filmmakers apparently wanted to make more of a remake than a sequel.
Sadly, this remake attitude is evident in almost every aspect of the film, setting the viewer up for the ending of the film. Basic Instinct 2 doesn’t do as good of a job as it’s predecessor mixing sex, seduction and deception. Instead, it tries too hard to tell the viewer what to think, prompting the viewer to ask themselves why – and spoiling any twists that may have otherwise not been so obvious.
Another odd concept is moving the film to England. The whole prim Englishman idea doesn’t really fit in with the concept of Catherine Tramell, and is an odd mix right from the start.
Also, the previous film is only mentioned in passing and doesn’t play a real role in the sequel, which is odd, considering the ending of the first film.
While people have been waiting years for a Basic Instinct (1992) sequel, this is probably not what they were hoping for. Rather than delving more into the Catherine Tramell character carried over from the previous film, Basic Instinct 2 is more of an advertisement for plastic surgery than it is anything else.
One thing that the first film was able to do better than almost any other film out there was it’s ability to portray abundant nudity, yet never really focusing on it. This frankness lead to the nudity becoming almost a non-entity of the film, instead just becoming almost natural to the viewers.
Basic Instinct 2, on the other hand, never even tries to create a viewer comfort level in regards to it’s nudity. Instead, it seems almost intent on making the viewer feel a bit dirty when nudity is presented on the screen – not a feeling that entices viewers to keep watching.
Without the Douglas/Stone team, Basic Instinct 2 already falls short of the original. While the Morrissey vs. Stone aspect works quite well towards the beginning of the film, that falls apart, and the viewer is left with nothing except the duller plot and flashes of nudity.
Also, sex in this film seems to be just for the sake of sex, rather than contributing to the plot, especially for Morrissey’s character, who at the beginning seems to have a sex addiction himself. Maybe that’s just the writers comment on British home life. Whatever reason it’s in the script, it should never have made it into the film as it seems a bit ridiculous and does nothing but help turn the viewer away from Morrissey’s character.
With all of it’s faults, Basic Instinct 2 can’t even hold a candle to the original. It seems to be a classic case of a sequel made too late. If this had been made 10 years ago, the Douglas/Stone pair would have been able to light up the screen once again, and they would have probably made another film worth watching.