Basic Instinct

A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger.

Thriller Mystery
127 min     6.9     1992     France


A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder that might involve a manipulative and seductive novelist.


talisencrw wrote:
Controversy aside, in regards both to Sharon Stone's quintessentially-provocative noirish femme fatale (talk about a queen bee or alpha female!) and the backlash that the film portrayed lesbians as crazed psychos, Verhoeven both played a striking tribute to Sir Alfred Hitchcock, particularly San Francisco's based Vertigo and in use of the blonde bombshell, and simply continued his style of storytelling that had become his trademark in his pre-Hollywood, formative days in the Netherlands. Though it's not mentioned in the interviews of either star or director, the wonderful car chase brought to mind that 'other' car chase Frisco Bay movie, 'Bullitt'. But given the remarkable landscape of the area, why not? One would be a fool not to push the stylistic envelope as far as the censors will allow. A film that would have made The Master of Suspense proud, methinks, and one that he himself perhaps would have done, had Joe Eszterhas' very fun script been around, during, say, the time of 'Frenzy', when Hitchcock was at his cheekiest. A fantastic date movie too, by the way...
John Chard wrote:
I'd have to be pretty stupid to write a book about killing and then kill him the way I described in my book. I'd be announcing myself as the killer. I'm not stupid. Basic Instinct is directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Joe Eszterhaz. It stars Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Denis Arndt and Leilani Sarelle. Music is scored by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Jan de Bont. Nick Curran (Douglas) of the SFPD is strung out and under investigation by Internal Affairs, last thing he needs is to be drawn into a dangerous relationship with a sex crazed blonde who may be a murderess... Time hasn't been kind to Verhoeven's soft-core porn thriller, where once was shock and awe killings (the film opening with a brutal mini ice-pick murder), steamy love scenes and a famed and controversial crotch shot, now is ludicrous orgasms, iffy effects and Michael Douglas' unappetising ass! Hell there was even protests during the film's initial theatre run as the gay community went up in arms about the portrayal of bisexuals possibly being mad murderers? Yet for all of its taming over the years, Basic Instinct can at least now been seen as the hugely efficient mystery thriller that it is, one that is propelled by some very good performances by the principal actors. The strength in the story is not in the sex or blood, but in the character arcs of Nick Curran and Catherine Tramell (Stone). Curran is a man perched on the edge of doom who is controlled totally by the women around him. He is by definition a quintessential film noir protagonist, in so deep he ultimately will be resigned to his fate. Catharine Tramell is a ultimate femme fatale, beautiful and seductive, she's always in control, leading all male characters where she wants them to go. There's a delicious kink to the narrative, with Verhoeven gleefully pulling the strings, a smirk no doubt etched onto his face. This is very good story telling, with a plot of substantial twists and turns. True, it does carry some soft-core baggage that can steer the restless away from the character strengths within, but for the neo-noir crowd there is much to enjoy here. 7.5/10