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BASIC INSTINCT (1992) Blu-ray Review

Charlie reviews the 2021 Blu-ray release of the classic 1992 movie BASIC INSTINCT calling Studiocanal’s restoration a “must buy.”

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Basic Instinct (STUDIOCANAL)

Basic Instinct is available now on 4K UHD Collector’s Edition, Steelbook, Blu-ray, DVD and digital.

Finally, after nearly thirty years, Paul Verhoeven’s mystery thriller, Basic Instinct, can now be experienced from the comfort of your own homes in the best way possible, on 4k Blu-ray – courtesy of Studiocanal. Since its release in 1992, the crime movie has become a classic of the genre while telling a story that is both thought provoking and fascinating. It immediately throws you into an incredibly layered plot and as the movie progresses, you question who this killer is. However, is this restoration worth picking up?

Verhoeven’s 1992 classic follows a police detective (played by Michael Douglas) who is placed in charge of the investigation of a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive novelist could be linked to the crime. The story itself is one that we have seen in movies and TV shows many times over the years; from the likes of Se7en to most recently, Spiral: From the Book of Saw. However, the story takes a different approach to an idea that has been explored many times throughout the years. It shows an aging detective who knows ways around the police force while trying to track down this murder suspect in the hopes of figuring out if she is the killer.

Michael Douglas gives one of his finest performances to date here. His personality clearly displays that he is a detective who has a violent and slightly darker side to him than every other police officer in his precinct and that is what makes his character so captivating. You never know when he will have outbursts at his colleagues or become abusive/violent and that is what makes Douglas’ Det. Nick Curran so unsettling. Sharon Stone is also excellent here playing a character who is seductive and keeps you wondering if she is the murderer that many people say she is throughout the movie. On many occasions, you question her motives and wonder what her character may be up to.

However, my main problem with Basic Instinct is its lengthy runtime that clocks in just over two hours. You certainly feel the length and in some places it does drag quite a bit which leads to a rather dull second act. At times, it feels filler and could have been cut to let the pacing move at a much brisker pace. It may have been intentionally slow in some places but in others, it felt like it was meandering and meaningless.

The restoration of the movie is also stunning. This new transfer is far superior to anything (in terms of picture quality) that you will find on streaming services and is a must buy if you want to own this film. The HDR is perfectly used in scenes and so much detail went into making this remaster look perfect.

Verdict

Basic Instinct provides a breathtaking performance from Michael Douglas while Sharon Stone’s character helped perfectly build the intrigue. It may be a little slow in places but its big reveals during the finale build to a satisfying conclusion. If you do not own the movie already, then this new restoration from Studiocanal is a must buy!


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