the fresh films reviews

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Basic Instinct (1992)

Paul Verhoven
Erotic thriller
Basic Instinct
126 minutes
Alan Marshall
Mario Kassar
Joe Eszterhas

Cast includes:

Detective Nick Curran Michael Douglas
Catherine Tramell Sharon Stone
Gus George Dzundza
Dr. Beth Gardner Jeanne Tripplehorn
Lieutenant Walker Denis Arndt
Roxy Leilani Sarelle



If nothing else, Basic Instinct brought erotic thrillers and female genitalia out in the open, giving food for masturbation, if not thought, to millions of young VCR owners in the early 1990s. This was a great time for eroticism on film, as well as for Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone. They both became among the biggest stars of the period, at the price of typecasting and some ridicule, but they probably didn't care too much, because Douglas got to handle just about every top-grossing female body in Hollywood, and Stone found an audience and a character that matched her talent as an actress. Her Catherine Tramell is so far-fetched that director Paul Verhoeven never even considered making her plausible; she's intended to be the larger-than-life, oversexed, Duracell bunny of sex and mystique that she comes off as. And so when Douglas' character reacts off of her and the plot-driven peril he finds himself in, it never becomes particularly effective on the ostensible noir homage level, which on the contrary feels corny. The film is just as shallow and outlandish as Stone's character, but if you want to disappear into this luxurious erotic fantasy world for a couple of hours, Verhoeven made sure you would be able to enjoy it. Just don't expect to learn anything from it neither about women nor sex.

Re-reviewed: Copyright 7.7.2013 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review:
Copyright 5.9.1996 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang