In case you've missed the plot summary, it goes like this: Sharon Stone plays a cold-blooded, near-sociopathic novelist whose boyfriend has just been murdered. The crime, which involves some barely believable bondage is a replica of one she described in her last novel. Michael Douglas is the detective on the case and Jeanne Tripplehorn is the police psychologist who is Douglas' ex-girlfriend and is-in violation of any ethical standard imagineable-giving him counselling after a questionable shooting that left innocent bystanders dead. So the question is 'whodunnit?'. And the answer is 'who cares?'.
The plot is unbelievable-real cops would have solved this murder in a day or two. The acting ranges from giggle-worthy (Douglas) to creditable (Stone and Tripplehorn). The complications are shrill and forced and the attempts to complicate the whodunit are so sad that they're almost not worth a parody.
So why two stars? It's a beautiful movie and worth seeing once (although you may want to fast-forward through a lot of it) Stone's rendition of the cheerful sociopath is good. Her nude scenes are delicious and best of all, she is the second most beautiful creature in the film. Top awards for elegant nudity go to Tripplehorn who is absolutely breath-taking even with her clothes on. Those of you whose aesthetic is different from mine may want to say the same of Douglas. But even a naked Jeanne Tripplehorn is not enough to make a good movie. Director Paul Verhoeven, who did Spetters and RoboCop does a credible job on this badly written, ill-conceived flick. I understand that the film was under consideration for a Raspberry Award and that only makes me wonder how bad the film was that beat it.
Lynn Hoffman, author of The New Short Course in Wine and the forthcoming novel, bang-BANG from Kunati Press.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Lynn Hoffman (LynnHoffman)
I cook therefore I. .therefore I eat. No, maybe that's thereby I eat'. Anyway, I love food, beer and wine: I like to write about them too,(The New Short Course in Wine is adapted from … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
The take-no-prisoners sex thriller from 1992 now stands as a milestone in the career of screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, but in the hands of director Paul VerhoevenBasic Instinctis an undeniably stylish and provocative study of obsession. In the role that made her a star (and showed the audience a little more skin than she intended), Sharon Stone plays the cleverly manipulative novelist Catherine Tramell who snares San Francisco detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) with her insatiable sexual appetite during the investigation of her boyfriend's murder. Tramell is the prime suspect, but the plot twists and turns until Curran is trapped in a dangerous cycle of dead ends and unsolved murders, never sure if Tramell is committing the crimes or if it is some other, unknown suspect. With a plot that keeps viewers guessing,Basic Instinctis the work of a director who is clearly in his element.--Jeff Shannon