Basic Instinct 2 Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

Sharon Stone Sexes Things Up Once Again

Basic Instinct hit America at just the right moment in the 1990s, quickly becoming a part of the cultural zeitgeist. The psycho-sexual thriller made actress Sharon Stone an A-list Hollywood star for the rest of the decade and gave us one of Hollywood’s most iconic film moments. The sultry thriller’s infamous leg-crossing scene was all the buzz when Basic Instinct first hit theaters.

As her fortunes in Hollywood waned over the years, Stone wanted one last payday as the manipulative and seductive Catherine Tremell. Fourteen years later, the sequel no one demanded came and went without making a dent at the box office. Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction returns only Sharon Stone from the original Basic Instinct and changes the setting to London.

Made by a British director with a European cast outside of Stone herself, the unnecessary thriller was originally rated NC-17 by the MPAA. Only after director Michael Canton-Jones made cuts to the sex scenes did the movie get dropped to an R rating. Ultimately the sequel is a disappointing ride with a few basic twists that outstays its welcome.

This time Catherine’s foil is criminal psychologist Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey). Having moved to London, Catherine is caught up with the police when one of her lovers drowns under suspicious circumstances. Dr. Glass gets entangled in Catherine’s deadly web of seduction and lies when he takes her on as a patient. Plenty of lurid twists and turns in the over-baked thriller’s plot recall the weaker elements of Basic Instinct without any of the movie’s sexual energy and star charisma. By 2006, Internet culture had thoroughly permeated America and what was seen as kinky sex in 1992 felt been-there and done-that by most movie viewers.

lurid twists and turns in the over-baked thriller’s plot recall the weaker elements of Basic Instinct

David Morrissey has nothing on Michael Douglas and he sleepwalks through much of Basic Instinct 2. Written as a suave ladies’ man, Morrissey shows remarkably little chemistry with the women surrounding him. He actually gives a better and more relaxed performance around Detective Washburn, the man investigating Catherine.

There is actually a decent thriller script somewhere in Basic Instinct 2, but its tone doesn’t mesh well with the over-the-top performance by Sharon Stone and the generally sleazy atmosphere expected of Basic Instinct. She pulls out all the stops as Catherine and some of her dialogue is utterly ridiculous. You get the feeling a stronger director with more power could have reined in Stone’s performance.

Basic Instinct 2 isn’t unwatchable but the thriller will try your patience with its nearly two-hour length. Predictable twists and a heavy UK slant don’t help things. The final act seems to go on forever after a couple of false climaxes. This is a quick rental for curious Basic Instinct fans and nothing more.

Video

MVD has licensed Basic Instinct 2 from MGM and uses an older master with a new AVC encode. Both the 114-minute theatrical cut and 116-minute unrated cut are included on a single BD-50. They are presented at their expected 2.40:1 aspect ratio in 1080P video with mixed results. The intact, stable elements are in suitably fine shape with no obvious degradation, which is to be expected for a 2006 film production. There aren’t huge differences between the two cuts in terms of picture quality.

Basic Instinct 2 is filmed more like a noir than most modern Hollywood thrillers. Shot in London, it doesn’t have eye-popping cinematography. Clarity is perfectly acceptable, but lacking in overall sharpness and definition. Some softness and underwhelming detail creeps into interior scenes. This is a dull, flat production with few bright colors. Even the club scenes look a tad dingy. Close-ups lack the type of detail found in better film scans.

The AVC encode properly handles the movie’s grain structure. I don’t believe the transfer has been filtered as conventionally understood. This transfer resembles an older telecine struck before digital intermediates became a thing. Hints of ringing hit a few scenes without harming the picture quality. This is likely the best Basic Instinct 2 will ever look on Blu-ray.

Audio

Both cuts of the film receive somewhat limited 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtracks as surround offerings. These aren’t great surround mixes outside of a few brief scenes, notably the opening with Catherine wildly driving through London. The audio can charitably be called serviceable and doesn’t provide much oomph. There isn’t much happening across the soundstage, but dialogue is largely intelligible and clear.

Secondary 2.0 PCM tracks in stereo and French 5.1 Dolby Digital round out the audio options. Optional English, English SDH, and French subtitles appear in a yellow font partially outside the 2.4:1 aspect ratio.

Extras

First released by Sony years ago near the dawn of the Blu-ray era, MVD steps up on this collector’s edition from their Marquee Collection line. MVD includes both the theatrical cut and an unrated cut that adds in approximately two more minutes of footage, mostly extending a couple of the sex scenes. The unrated cut has never been seen on Blu-ray. They bring over all the special features from that out of print Sony edition.

A word about the deleted scenes: Back when Basic Instinct 2 first came out in theaters, footage deemed too explicit for the MPAA was leaked in a bid to hype up the movie’s release. It primarily involved a brief threesome scene. That scene is available if you go hunting around the internet, but has never been officially released by MGM. Once again, it is absent here.

Between the Sheets: A Look Inside Basic Instinct 2 Featurette (11:08 in SD) – A typical behind-the-scenes featurette from the 2000s that interviews cast and crew promoting the film.

Audio Commentary by Director Michael Canton-Jones on both the Theatrical and Unrated versions – The British director details his philosophy and approach to filmmaking, going scene by scene in lucid monologues.

Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director Michael Canton-Jones (Approximately 18 minutes in SD) – Nine scenes in all, some more interesting than others. One detailing Catherine’s first sexual experience might have been an interesting addition to the movie. The director discusses his issues with each scene and why they needed to be cut for time.

Alternate Ending with optional director commentary (01:01 in SD) – An ending that changes how you view Dr. Glass’s actions.

Basic Instinct 2 Trailer (02:19 in ??) – Picking this option repeatedly kept locking up my Oppo player, so someone else will have to confirm its presence.

MVD Trailers – Art School Confidential, Angel Town, Autumn In New York, 37: A Final Promise, Crazy Six, Out of Time.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray release was provided to us for review by the label. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit our about us page to learn more about DoBlu’s editorial policies.

Basic Instinct 2
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Basic Instinct 2

Sharon Stone badly wanted this sequel to her biggest career highlight and turns in an uneven, predictable thriller without help from Michael Douglas.

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