RV!: Basic Instinct (1992) Dir: Paul Verhoeven Date Released: March 1992 Date Seen: January 23, 2010 Rating: 4/5
This movie is a terrific guilty pleasure of mine. Verhoeven has a knack for aestheticizing some of the most lurid aspects of the noir genre. In Michael Douglas he finds a perfect Spillane-type dick, a man whose personal demons don't so much excuse his bad behavior as they permit further carnal debauchery. Douglas has a riled-up quality here that's effectively winsome in spite of everything. He delivers sleazy-ass quips with a barely sublimated urge to vent his anger on someone, anyone, quick ("I think she's the fuck of the century. What do you think?"). And of course there's Verhoeven's unrepentant affinity for sexual decadence, which fits right in here with the film's Hitchcock ala Mike Hammer vibe. The film really hits its stride in its last act but it's never not a flirty blast of hot air.