Directed by Paul Verhoeven (SPETTERS, ROBOCOP), BASIC INSTINCT is a psychological thriller with a liberal helping of soft porn thrown in for good measure.
At first glance, Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) seems like a dream date. A successful novelist with a classy psychology degree, Tramell is beautiful, rich, brilliant, and oversexed. There's only one problem. Anyone who has ever been close to Tramell has died in mysterious circumstances--circumstances which have been either recreated or predicted in her novels. Is she an evil genius who tests her brilliance by destroying those around her? Or is she being set up by a diabolical rival? This is what San Francisco cop Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) must determine after
he is called in to investigate the murder of Tramell's boyfriend, a former rock star stabbed to death with an ice pick while engaging in that favorite pastime of rock stars, kinky sex.
Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas's story does generate a degree of suspense, particularly in the scenes where Tramell turns the tables on Curran; she is now writing a book based on his life, and rakes up some unpleasant details from the past concerning his "accidental" killing of two innocent tourists.But the screenplay also displays a flaw you would hope not to find in a $3 million script: it makes no logical sense.
The worst things about BASIC INSTINCT, though, are the explicit "love" scenes. They're supposed to contribute to a heady equation in which sex, violence and psychology are fused; instead, they're gratuitous, exploitative, and entirely unerotic.
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