The plot picks up crime novelist Catherine Tramell years (fourteen to be exact) after her San Francisco police troubles. Relocated to London, she gets implicated in the car crash death of her soccer player lover (she, of course, was driving). Enter police psychologist Dr. Michael Glass to assess her mental state, and the sexually oriented dangers from the first movie get recycled in this story. People start to get murdered. Inevitably, Glass gets painted into a corner, while Catherine keeps one step ahead of everyone else. It seems beside the point that Sharon Stone looks great for 47, though there is a surgical aura about her beauty (whether or not this is the case). Her nihilistic character has not been empowered by the intervening years but flattened into a one-note Machiavellian nymphomaniac, all knowing looks and come-ons with nary a trace of humanity. The fun in her performance has been deflated to fit the constant contrivances of the plot turns.She gets no help from her pasty-looking leading man, David Morrissey, who looks and sounds like the younger brother of Liam Neeson. He lacks the charisma and primal instincts to get away with Glass' quicksilver changes in behavior, especially in the sex scenes. The most inspired in-joke is placing the doctor's office in London's phallic-looking Swiss Re building. It seems a shame to recruit two world-class actors in supporting roles only to waste them â" David Thewlis plays the suspicious police inspector, and Charlotte Rampling, looking spectacular at sixty (and a lesson in humility for Ms.Stone), as Glass' more seasoned colleague. Suffice it to say that the last five minutes are absurd to the extreme with no sense of viewer satisfaction over the conclusion.
The journey from theaters to DVD has been an unsurprisingly fast one, and the disc includes Caton-Jones' rather bored commentary on an alternative track, and there are several deleted scenes all wisely excised. In fact, not enough was excised for my taste. There is also a disposable ten-minute making-of featurette where there is mention (or dare I say, the threat) of a "Basic Instinct 3". Perhaps they can get Dakota Fanning for the role.