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April 06, 2006

Basic Instinct 2

Bi2

In spite of Sharon Stone’s hearty encore performance as the ultimate femme fatale, "Basic Instinct 2" falls unbearably flat. Husband-and-wife screenwriters Leora Barish and Henry Bean employ such labored plotting and clinical bits of sex and violence that there isn’t anything to savor. There is not a trace present of the Hitchcock-inspired suspense that director Paul Verhoeven powerfully exerted over the original "Basic Instinct." Instead we get a futile change of locale for Catherine Tramell (Stone) who has moved her novel-writer’s desk to London in search of high-risk episodes of sexual gratification. David Morrissey is painfully miscast as Dr. Michael Glass ("Derailed") a criminal psychiatrist brought in to analyze Catherine after her involvement in the death of her sex partner during a high-speed car ride. Director Michael Caton-Jones ("Scandal") proves himself incapable of handling the rigid demands of a suspense thriller, albeit a poorly written one.

Rated R. 114 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)

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