“BASIC INSTINCT 2” has been given a day and date “BLU-RAY” release and it’s hard to imagine any fans of the original liking it. While this reviewer admits not being impressed with the first “BASIC INSTINCT” film, it’s a masterpiece in comparison! Sharon Stone returns as the femme fatale but the Michael Douglas character has been replaced with British actor David Morrisey as a court psychiatrist working with Stone’s “Catherine” character, in order to determine her sanity and defense strategy revolving around the new murder charges she’s facing for a bizarre accident occurring at the film’s beginning credit sequence.
Director Michael Caton Jones has great skill. The quality he brought to “DONNIE BRASCO” can’t help this dreadful script and his classy approach to the film may have actually hurt the film, although it’s hard to imagine anything making the film worse than its script! Being honest, the first film’s script was crap too, but its director Paul Verhoeven had fun with it and treated it like the exploitation film it was meant to be, making it at least partially entertaining. Another thing viewers realize when watching this film, is how much Michael Douglas contributed to the film’s success. He gave much more grounding to the film than Stone and the absence of his quality acting is noticeable throughout the film. That being said, the script here isn’t any worse than the piece of crap film he did film last year, “THE SENTINEL”. So, perhaps his producing credit for that one also gave him a bigger stake in the film’s potential profit than he’d have gotten here.
SONY has chosen to release the “R-rated” version of “BASIC INSTINCT 2” and not the “unrated version” offered on dvd. The “BLU-RAY” format Presented in 1080p, the 2.35:1 image is generally glossy and slick, however, there’s a surprisingly disappointing quality in contrast. Colors are lacking in richness, even in comparison to many dvds, let alone when compared to other “HD-DVD” or “BLU-RAY” titles. This presentation just doesn’t offer the depth offered on other “BLU-RAY” titles thus far.
SONY has presented a “PCM” 5.1 mix, offering excellent clarity and fidelity. Unfortunately, the mix isn’t aggressive by any standard and potentially effective atmospheric moments are always missed. The film’s score, however, is impressive and demonstrates just how incredible the overall mix could’ve been with a little more care given to it. That being said, most of the film plays as a courtroom drama, so dialogue is most important, and it’s always perfectly rendered here.
SONY has included a promotional featurette and a great audio commentary with the film’s director.