A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is a hard R, with frequent sexual language and activity, nudity, violence, and profanity. Characters talk about murder and engage in violent acts (one shooting, a couple of fights, one attempted strangling). Characters talk about sex using crude language, and try to seduce one another with sultry looks and descriptions of sexual activity. Catherine wears revealing clothing. The dead bodies are gruesome (pale, frothing at the mouth from a drug overdose, neck bleeding). Characters buy drugs, Catherine smokes a joint, characters drink and smoke cigarettes.
What's the story?
Sharon Stone returns as the brilliant American novelist and (maybe) psycho killer Catherine Trammel, who is now in London. This time, Catherine drives her car into the Thames, and the footballer (and very recent sex partner) in the passenger seat drowns. Questioned by grumpy Detective Washburn (David Thewlis), she resists feeling sad or guilty: "My life was more important to me than his," she says. Frustrating the cop, she's then loosed on the court-appointed Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey). He assesses that she is "risk addicted." She figures him out almost right away, and he has precious little support from his seeming community: he's angry at his ex, Denise (Indira Varma), for sleeping with magazine writer Adam Towers (Hugh Dancy). And Glass' mentor, Milena (Charlotte Rampling), is the simultaneously wise and clueless older woman, primed for victimization.
Is it any good?
BASIC INSTINCT 2: RISK ADDICTION is so bereft of ideas that Joe Eszterhas's 1992 script for the original seems almost gripping by comparison. You know that Glass knows he's supposed to say no to therapy with Catherine, but he says yes. The rest of the movie approximates the who's-playing-whom dynamic of the first film, but without the aptly creepy Michael Douglas or the straight-up wonderful George Dzundza. And without dialogue resembling the sorts of things people might actually say to one another.
As in the first film, the most interesting possibility comes up in the finale, when Catherine rewrites the plot for the novel that she's been writing all along. The movie essentially stalls out after the first big-action murder scene. While Catherine's guilt regarding specific cases might remain unknown, it also doesn't much matter. She's the Freddy Krueger of this two-film franchise, which means victims become negligible and motive immaterial. The fact that a middle-aged woman serves this function, and that the money shot is not some hideous-prosthetic-face reveal but a look at Stone's breasts in a Jacuzzi, makes a tired point: in 2006, women still scare men.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the attention that middle-aged Sharon Stone has received for playing a sexy role. Why is it so surprising that she could still play this sort of role? Would it be as shocking if a man the same age played a similar role? Also, why do so many strong women in movies only derive power by using their sex appeal?