The sequel to 1992's Basic Instinct opens with a high-speed hand job in an Alfa Romeo Spider racing through London, proving that Sharon Stone can still go from zero to orgasm in a matter of seconds.
The biggest blunder with reprising the ice-pick-wielding Catherine Tramell role isn't Stone's age (48, but who's counting?), even though the media are sure to milk that one. Other than getting a bit overzealous with the bronzer (Sharon, baby, you ain't George Hamilton), she's still a smoking hottie. The real problem with Basic Instinct 2 is the fact that someone decided to make it in the first place. Time's passed for everyone else too. In the years since Stone delivered the original crotch-shot-seen-round-the-world, the scene has been mocked and remocked, spoofed and respoofed to the point where Basic Instinct has become one big, fat, pantyless joke in our collective pop culture consciousness.
So every time in the sequel that Stone spits out words like "fuck" and "come," and, more so, every time she crosses or uncrosses her legs or even just sits down, there's not much the audience can do but wonder, "Ooh, is she going to flash her chocha this time?" and snicker. Well, sometimes it's more of a chortle than a snicker, but that's splitting pubic hairs.
One could prattle on about how a movie featuring explicit sex scenes no longer shocks like it would have a little more than a decade ago, or how Stone delivers every line with the conviction of a mediocre porn star. Or one could dwell on the predictability of the plot. (Catherine's an expert "mind-fucker," as the movie says; we got that the first time.) And there's the toning down of the raunchiness to avoid the dreaded NC-17 rating. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The reality is, there's no amount of deleted threesome scenes director Michael Caton-Jones could add back in that would make it any better (still, a better reason to see it on DVD instead of in the theaters).
Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.