Tuesday, April 04, 2006

You will not believe what the New Yorker saw this weekend

This weekend, the sci-fi horror flick Slither, starring Firefly veteran Nathan Fillion opened at theatres nationwide. This was the movie that for all intents and purposes I should have seen. I wanted to see it, had planned on seeing it. But due in large part to the strong coercion of an associate, I ended up seeing Basic Instinct 2 in a packed theatre on Friday night.

From the moment the movie started, it was clear that us audience members were in for some spectacularly sleazy and ridiculous fun. For the first hour and ten minutes or so I was consistently enthralled by the grotesque, depraved, nonsensical plot that I could barely believe was unfolding before my very eyes. Writer Catherine Tremell has swooshed upon the London scene, bedding every attractive and well to do person in town, and leaving a lasting impression on all that she meets, especially psychoanalyst Dr. Michael Glass. When Tremell becomes a prime suspect in a murder case, Glass must “analyze” her, and he discovers that she has a severe case of “risk addiction.” (By the way, the original title of the film was Basic Instinct 2: Rick Addiction). When Tremell is acquitted of the initial murder charges, Glass takes her on as a patient, but becomes increasingly suspicious as people around them begin to die. He’d turn her in, only he is so seduced by her seductivity (read as brash, abrasive trucker talk), and the two embark on a game of “cat and mouse”.

I’m going to stop summarizing now, because it’s making me turn red in the face. But be assured that there are lots of things to giggle at in this film. Everything from the dialogue, to the costumes (Stone wears some real doozies in this one, especially considering the context of her outfits), to the plot “twists”. BS2 also features what I believe to be the worst looking wig currently in Hollywood circulation. When this certain character walked on screen, and if you see the film I trust you will know who I am talking about immediately, the entire theatre broke out into loud guffaws and chuckes. (And no I’m not even talking about the courtroom scene with the traditional brit wigs, which looks a bit silly as well). However, I must confess that by the second act of the film I was feeling a bit winded. The film runs six minutes shy of two hours, and I think it would have behooved the film makers to shave it down to a neat ninety minutes, especially considering the reception that the film’s been getting.

Ultimately the biggest flaw of the film was that it vacillated between one that was trying to take itself seriously, as a legitimate thriller, and one that knew it was B-movie fodder and was therefore playing things to the max. For the most part, Sharon Stone’s performance was wonderfully ridiculous and over the top, she was playing it big, and she knew she was in something trashy (or at least this is what I’d like to believe). If she did in fact realize she was the vehicle of a scandalous ‘sploitationesque sequal than her heavy handed delivery was done at just about the perfect pitch. The problem was that not every other actor and actress in the film had this attitude. The male lead, David Morrissey, who played Dr. Michael Glass was actually trying to be “good”. It was as if most everyone in the cast knew what they were in on except for him, who was apparently fooled by his agent into thinking Basic Instinct 2 was “for real.” The tone of the film itself also started to loose it’s way towards the end, when it got caught up in things like “logic” and “tying up loose ends.” If only the filmmakers realized what they had on their hands, they would’ve known it was futile to bother those elements since they were already involved in such a goofy effort.

BS2 was bad, but in a very enjoyable way. However, if those who made it could have let go just a little bit more, it could have been even WORSE, and in turn better.


Blogger DoorFrame said...

Was the wig worse than my favorite awful wig from Trading Places.

7:50 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Yes. You won't believe it. It's a must see for all bad wig enthusiasts.

9:33 PM  

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