Novelist Catherine Tramell is once again in trouble with the law, and Scotland Yard appoints psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass to evaluate her. Though, like Detective Nick Curran before him, Glass is entranced by Tramell and lured into a seductive game.
A former rock star, Johnny Boz, is brutally killed during sex, and the case is assigned to detective Nick Curran of the SFPD. During the investigation, Nick meets Catherine Tramell, a crime novelist who was Boz's girlfriend when he died. Catherine proves to be a very clever and manipulative woman, and though Nick is more or less convinced that she murdered Boz, he is unable to find any evidence. Later, when Nilsen, Nick's rival in the police, is killed, Nick suspects of Catherine's involvement in it. He then starts to play a dangerous lust-filled mind game with Catherine to nail her, but as their relationship progresses, the body count rises and contradicting evidences force Nick to start questioning his own suspicions about Catherine's guilt. Written by
Writer Joe Eszterhas and producer Irwin Winkler walked off the picture after failing to reach agreement with director Paul Verhoeven over the script. Verhoeven promptly hired Total Recall (1990) writer Gary Goldman to come up with some new scenes, most of which beefed up Michael Douglas's character and made him less wimpy. These changes were largely made at the behest of Douglas. It was during this later stage that Verhoeven realized his changes weren't going to work, so he publicly acknowledged his error and made up with Eszterhas (which Eszterhas admitted to be a rare thing in Hollywood). Problems reoccurred later when the script had been leaked, and the gay and lesbian communities had serious reservations about the depiction of lesbian and bisexual characters. Eszterhas wanted to make more changes to appease them, but Verhoeven point blank refused to incorporate these changes. Eszterhas again publicly distanced himself from the production, but once again reconciled with Verhoeven when the finished movie was praised by critics and homosexual communities alike. See more »
Throughout the film, several characters use the word "alibi" in a wrong sense. They use it to refer to the argument that Catherine would not have committed a crime very similar to one described in a novel of hers. But that is not what the word alibi means. It refers to a piece of evidence which shows that a suspect could not have been at the scene of a crime at the time of that crime (the literal translation of the Latin word "alibi" is "elsewhere"). The description of the ice pick murder in Catherine's novel does not prove anything of that sort. See more »
Who was this fuckin' guy?
Rock and roll, Gus. Johnny Boz.
Never heard of him.
Before your time, cowboy.
See more »
Paul Verhoeven is one of my favorite directors. His movies are so damn entertaining. They always, well I should say most of the time, have wit and intelligence [Forget 'Showgirls' and 'Hollow Man', any director can make mistakes] and have either graphic sex or violence or both. 'Basic Instinct' is in the latter category. It is so erotic and Stone and Douglas have so much sexual chemistry that when you look at an Adrian Lyne film, you see them for the crap they are.
Basic plotline has Stone's character, 'Catherine Tramell', accused of the vicious sex murder of a retired rock and roll star. Douglas's character has a strange attraction to her, which may not lead to good things..... Paul Verhoven has openly admitted that this film is a homage to Alfred Hitchcock's classic masterpiece 'Vertigo'. In fact, Stone wears, in sequence, the same wardrobe as Kim Novak did [which makes you wonder, was she wearing panties under her clothes]. That brings us to the interrogation scene, which is the best in the movie. Stone shamelessly flirts with the cops' libidos until the buildup of sexual tension is so great, Stone releases it by playing 'peek-a-boo' with the space in between her legs. Every male viewer cherishes that scene, simply because it is so sexy. That word can be used throughout the film, as Stone and Douglas do the mattress mumbo. At the time, the sex scenes were so realistic that the press went wild and debated whether or not viewers were witnessing un-simulated sex. The film is still quite sexually daring today and has an intriguing spider's web plot too. The plot's twists and turns manage to make the movie sexier as the viewer wonders whether Sharon is innocent or guilty..........
The film's only misstep occurs at the end, with an unsatisfactory ending that makes the whole film seem like some stupid, contrived game. But it's not. It keeps it's fascination and it's sexiness and its suspense right up till the end, which is what a good erotic thriller should. Actually, the ending for some will lead to a lot of discussion if you watch the film with someone, as the film toys with two of the film's characters innocence or guilt and does not give up all its secrets.....
The film is great Verhoeven. It has his usual, hilarious, seemingly inappropriate kinky humor and extreme sex and violence to match. The fact that Verhoeven is actually able to balance the film and make it funny and sexy is wonderful film-making. Well, have I said 'sexy' enough times? Then go rent it.........8/10
P.S. If you like this one, check out Verhoevens' Dutch film ''The Fourth Man''. It has a similar plot and even a similar character that resembles Catherine Tramell. If the ending of 'Basic Instinct' leaves you wanting, check that film out. It is even better than 'Basic' and is more 'arty'. It is also a little bit more daring erotically.
57 of 77 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?