Basically, it stinks

By , Film critic of The Christian Science Monitor

Just in time for Sigmund Freud's 150th birthday, here comes "Basic Instinct 2," pitting Sharon Stone's predatory vamp Catherine Tramell against charismatic London psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey). Instead of showing off her gams in a police station, she does it on the analyst's couch.

Catherine's leg games are, of course, mind games. Her interest in the doctor is initially piqued during a trial in which she is charged with murdering a soccer star. Glass testifies that she suffers from "risk addiction." Pretty soon she becomes his patient, except it's really the other way around.

It's been 14 years since the original "Basic Instinct," and time - and the miracles of beauty technology - have been kind to Stone. Not much else about this movie holds up. Director Michael Caton-Jones shot it in London in a sleek neo-noir style, but the actors, who also include David Thewlis and Charlotte Rampling, seem to be under the impression that they are acting in an old-style noir.

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Stone's vamp is pure camp. Her Catherine looks deeply into Glass's eyes and purrs, "You enjoy being in control, just like me." Her greatest fear turns out to be "boredom" - a feeling that the viewers of this movie may sympathize with.

Except the movie isn't boring, exactly. It's too nutty for that. In its very first scene, Catherine and that soccer star play more than footsie while speeding along London's Canary Wharf district in a custom built Spyker C8 Laviolette sports car. If there's a "Basic Instinct 3" - and I'm hoping against it - maybe Catherine can take on James Bond. Grade: C

Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, violence, language, and drug content.

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