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Paparelli's Movie Reviews
Well, it's just, like... my opinion, man

Basic Instinct 2

Thursday, May 11, 2006

year: 2006
directed by: Michael Caton-Jones
written by: Leora Barish, Henry Bean, Joe Eszterhas
notable cast: Sharon Stone, David Morrissey, Charlotte Rampling

Paparelli's rating: 0
(0 = worst, **** = best)

Phew, it's hard to review this movie. I feel uneasy listing everything that's wrong with it, because it would be a terribly long list. But also I think it is my duty to warn people who are accidentily, inadvertently, unknowingly about to go see this movie.

The theme of this movie is the seduction of a goodwilling man into becoming evil and everything he's against. Sharon Stone is supposed to be so attractive and seductive that her shrink cannot withstand temptation and is destructively drawn toward her. Holding him in her grip, she toys with him like a cat would with a mouse, before finally taking total possession of his mind and using him as a tool for her own evil deeds.

Okay, this is not impossible. The mechanics of their interaction are based on the exaggeration of elements that exist in all kinds of everyday relationships. Also it makes a wonderful subject for fantasy: it has all those magic, spicy elements that are on the edge of the acceptable (erotica, crime, forbidden love). And so there have been several quite good movies based on this theme. Some were part of the "Film Noir" genre, something modern movie makers should take example by and try to learn from.

Take for instance 'Double Indemnity' a movie written and directed by Billy Wilder, featuring amazing performances by Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson. This is exactly the same theme, but an infinitely better movie. The differences are astounding on almost every level.

For instance, in 'Basic Instict 2' Stone seduces her shrink in a cold office environment of steel furniture, glass tables and lots of industrial design with cool, blueish colors. Sorry guys, but this movie is about seduction, not about board meetings. The art direction in no way reflects the tense, erotic athmosphere. The main setting for the seduction scenes in 'Double Indemnity' is a Mexican style LA house with a garden full of obscenely deliciously scenting flowers, during the hottest day of summer. Now that's what seduction is all about.

As so often is the problem with movies today, the story is simply told by showing the sequence of events, instead of allowing the audience to experience the events themselves through the eyes and ears of the characters.

Another problem with this movie is the total unattrictiveness of Sharon Stone (which has nothing to do with her age, but more with her acting skills, hair dresser and wardrobe) which makes the fall of the shrink completely unbelievable. Also, there is no progression in the story. Right from the start the shrink decides to allow her in his care, despite the evilness he has already seen of her in a court case. We are not at all shown why he takes this major psychological step. What drives him to do this? We are told, but not shown.

The first 12 minutes or so of the movie, right up to his sudden change in approach to her, should have been the total focus of the story, nothing more than that. Movies should be about characters, personalities, and not about events. Let me know Stone's character, and let her seduce me too. At least that's what Barbara Stanwyck manages to do in 'Double Indemnity'.

Needless to say that these major flaws combined with the fact the acting is uninspired and often simply ridiculous, this movie is a total failure. I have no other words for it. It shouldn't have been made. Just go get yourself a DVD of 'Double Indemnity'. Come on, go! Yes, it's in black and white, so what?! You'll love it. Now, get!


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