Idol Chatter

There was something redeeming—or at least potentially redeeming—about the first “Basic Instinct” in 1992. One or two tantalizing scenes could not have been enough to drive all of the $350 million it made, nor would they have sustained celebrity status for an actress who hasn’t done much since. It at least attempted (or pretended?) to offer a story with vulnerability and questions at the boundary of what passes for judgment and, well, instinct.

The second one—I don’t know whether to call it a bad sequel or a bad remake—is just a pure waste of time.

I usually like trying to find something positive about any form of art or expression and certainly about any person. I don’t have anything good to say about this one, and actually hope it hasn’t killed Sharon Stone’s career.

This film stinks. Maybe it’s because Stone’s Catherine Tramell was more interesting as an unknown than as a re-tread. Maybe it’s because there was something truly vulnerable about Michael Douglas’s performance that’s clearly missing here. Maybe it’s because female characters are intelligent, smart and heroic in just about every crime show on television, and the battle of the sexes is, uh, not at the fever pitch it may have been in 1992. Maybe it’s because the setting is Europe and not the United States.

I’m usually one of the first guys to enjoy telling lawyer jokes, but this joke—the one about the attorneys who couldn’t solve a contract dispute so the studio had to make a movie nobody wanted—isn’t even funny.

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