In the 90s Sharon Stone was a chameleonic and ambitious actress in the same way Katy Perry is an artist capable of criss-crossing genres and musical styles. And by that I mean neither statement is remotely true. But genuine talent and range aren’t necessities in Hollywood, the land where untried first time actors routinely win Oscars and everyone stands and applauds – instead of wondering just how good the average actor REALLY is.
In any case Stone and Perry each found an audience that were willing to support and admire them and their limitations. For Stone it was horny men who wanted to pretend they watch her films for other reasons beside the assurance that she would get nekkid. For Perry it is unworldly teenagers who aspire to be wholesome bright eyed power women willing to flash their tits… and horny men who fake liking her twenty five songs that sound exactly alike. Maybe in twenty years Katy Perry can sing “I kissed a girl and I liked it” without the audience dry retching? I mean Sharon Stone found that the audience followed her to Basic Instinct 2 didn’t she?
A young blonde woman is thrown from a high rise by a man who apparently has difficulty expressing how he prefers brunettes. But only a blonde would be stupid enough to move into an apartment recently made vacant due to murder, so enter decidedly blonde Carly Norris (Stone).
Carly is entering a transition period. After a ‘wasted relationship’ spanning seven years that she seems determined to tell everyone about multiple times, she wants the quiet life.
To focus on her career as an editor. To read, take long ‘eventful’ baths, frequent showers and to play indoor golf in her undies. Yes folks, Sharon Stone had extraordinary range…
But of course she also looked like 90s Sharon Stone, which I reluctantly admit was a plus. So within days every drooling hound dog in the building is looking at her like a worn out tennis ball, which isn’t too far off as far as analogies go.
Most prominent among the suitors are Jack (Tom Berenger), a creepy egotistical git of a writer, and Zack (Miscellaneous Baldwin), a creepy egotistical git who obviously feels himself to be a mysterious cat indeed. How else to stomach the following exchange;
Scuzzball: “I’d like to fly into a volcano sometime”.
Her: “Why?” (Fair question)
Scuzzball: “I dunno. Sounds like fun.”
Ladies and gentlemen hack 90s writer Joe Esterhaz! (The man who made mainstream nudity so difficult on the ears…)
With two such lecherous scuzzballs to choose from how could Carly possibly choose badly?And why does she feel watched. Followed. Coveted. (Oh yeah – the underpants golf.)
In any case Carly apparently only goes to work once or twice a week – no surprise given the obnoxiously peppy sex-obsessed idiots that she works with. Instead she spends half of each day going from the lobby to the elevator, enabling every person she bumps into to either tell her how she looks just like the last one, or to take 25 seconds to drop a strangely random yet somehow useful for later on tidbit of info.
When Carly finally does leave the building it is on a date, where she is convinced – actually basically fooled like a five year old – to take her underpants off in a restaurant?
But at least she’s wearing some this time around. Occasionally anyway. The rest of the film is full of soft core sex scenes between charisma free empty vessels, interspersed with some ‘Class Ewww’ boudoir talk and a chilled out soundtrack full of songs you forgot were pretty good twenty years ago (Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ stands head and shoulders above the pack), and songs that you refuse to believe were ever popular.
Sliver wants to be a chilling expose of the allure and guilty pleasures derived from being a voyeur, but gives us nothing worthy of spying on.
Final Rating – 6 / 10. You can sum this and Sharon Stone’s career up with one sentence; ‘Totally forgettable if not for the nudity’.