By Kyle | June 13, 2007
Sharon Stone recently said of the reviews of “Basic Instinct 2,” ”Did I know people were going to stab me in the eye with a shrimp fork?” Who can she have been talking about? The Daily News gave the movie two and a half stars; Entertainment Weekly gave it a B-minus. Variety wrote, “Those hoping for either a sizzling — or an unintentionally hilarious — good time will be disappointed.” The reviews, then, weren’t all that bad. Except mine. Since the review isn’t available on the Post’s archive, I’ll re-post it here.
Kyle Smith New York Post review of BASIC INSTINCT 2
Running time: 112 minutes.
Rated R (sex, nudity, violence, profanity, drug use)
Interesting factoid I just uncovered, a piece of trivia apparently unknown to the filmmakers who torched $70 million on “Basic Instinct 2”: Sharon Stone is 77 years old.
It was 19 hundred and 92 when we last snatched a glimpse — possibly I have that backwards — of Catherine Tramell, the tramp novelist and man-killer. When “Basic Instinct” premiered, Johnny Carson was still hosting “The Tonight Show,” Brett Favre had not yet thrown a pass for the Green Bay Packers and Dan Quayle was our vice president.
Again playing Tramell, Stone, 77, begins the movie with a promisingly awful scene in which she speeds through London in a sporty Spyker at 110 mph while — how shall I put this? — manually entertaining herself, aided by a passed-out boy toy in the passenger seat. The scene climaxes with much crashing of glass and spewing of water that is, I think, meant to be symbolic of something.
Tramell leaves her boyfriend in the car, and the car in the Thames, but escapes a murder rap on a technicality. (There were no witnesses because, according to this movie, there are no people in central London at night.)
As hilarious as these opening minutes are, they’re all played dead seriously, which makes them that much funnier. As for the rest of the movie, opinion will differ on whether there is camp value. There certainly isn’t any other kind.
Tramell enflames the manly parts of a policehired shrink (David Morrissey, a previously — and henceforth — obscure actor) who works in the “Gherkin Tower,” the most prominent member of the London skyline to be erected in many years, the one that reminds you of a Woody (Allen movie, “Match Point”) and is already a cinematic cliche. Is any Londoner’s office not in this building?
Business booms for local coroners, but the shrink withholds evidence from cops and tramples on crime scenes because he’s dumbstruck with lust for Tramell. Never mind that he already has a certifiably hot girlfriend who is not on the AARP mailing list, or that Catherine shows signs of wanting to either frame him for murder or at very least kill all of his friends and acquaintances.
From the moment she strolls into his office and says, “So, is this where we’re gonna do it?” he’s obsessed. On paper, anyway. On-screen, these two have all the uncaged animal passion of the Liza Minnelli-David Gest affair. As the ludicrous plot heads for a “twist” that is merely a preposterous coincidence, Stone, 77, drops saucy references to Masters and Johnson (note to readers still in their fertile years: These two were sex researchers whose work was considered a naughty cocktail-party topic when Lyndon Johnson was president); tries to sink into the hot tub but is defeated by the flotation properties of her volleyball breasts
(look closely and you’ll be able to see the exact spot where the bicycle pump attaches); and rubs her long dewy thighs together. Actually, “dewy” isn’t quite the word I’m looking for. Reptilian?
If you’re curious as to whether Stone, 77, takes the opportunity to spread her, um, wings as an actress, she doesn’t. She just slithers around moaning come-ons in an attempted throaty purr that, if you closed your eyes, would make you think of a female impersonator. Actually, even with your eyes open you might think that, given the comically drag-queeny poses she strikes in, for instance, a halter-top catsuit or a how-many-raccoons-had-to-die-for-this coat. At this point, there are inflatable toys that are livelier than Stone, but how can you tell the difference? “Basic Instinct 2” is not an erotic thriller. It’s taxidermy.