An ambitious psychiatrist tries to further his
career by breaking the big case in Instinct. The big case is an evaluation of an
anthropologist turned wildman played by Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins lived with the animals
for 2 years and has now been convicted of killing 2 park rangers. Gooding's first task is
to get him to speak which he hadn't since his arrest in Africa.
The plot sounds and begins promising but as always other useless
subplots get involved. You know what that means, useless junk to add time to the length to
the movie. One is that in order for Gooding to talk to Hopkins, he must also assist in the
rest of the cases involved in the prison. He is quite infuriated at first but then tries
to make big changes, one involving a policy of every man going outside for 30 minutes
everyday. Supposedly in most jails, every prisoner must get 30 minutes outside but in this
jail they are understaffed and only one man is allowed to go out. The prisoner that is
allowed to go out must get the ace of diamonds handed out to him. The problem is that one
guy always takes the card from the little guy. Gooding tries to rile up the prisoners
against this and to use a lottery system. That way every man will get their chance. If
this doesn't make sense, it doesn't really matter because it was just an complete waste of
time in this movie.
One might argue that this part shows some kind
of development of Gooding's character. He, at that point, is putting the patient before
his ambition. I just saw it as a useless way to add to the running time.
What was wrong with this movie? It is probably
easier to decide what is right with this movie. The performances of Hopkins and Gooding
were just fine. The scenes in which Gooding is talking with Hopkins man to man. Now I must
list some of the problems with the movie. The movie moved slowly and had a few parts that
were either impossible or not understandable. I don't think it is possible for a 60-year
old man to take out a whole army of guards. The sequences in which the apes accept him
into their family were just not believable and rather repetitive and boring. The apes
actions didnt look real, they looked mechanical.
Instinct, like many other movies, mixes elements of different
classic films in an attempt to make an even better movie. What it lacks in originality, it
continually lacks in character development of almost every character except for the main.
In my mind, a supporting actor is an actor that supports the protagonist but this
character shouldn't just be there to help the plot along. He should be presented with some
importance if he is used in a movie.
I have one more complaint about this film. It had too much of a
pattern. because of how the movie was presented, I felt like I knew everything that was
going to happen. I could explain it like the directions on a shampoo bottle. Wash, rinse,
repeat. In this movie it went interview, daughter, mentor, repeat. First Gooding would
have a frustrating meeting or a breakthrough. Then he would go to Hopkins' to tell about
the breakthrough or for advice on how to get a breakthrough. Then off to his mentor's
house, played by Donald Sutherland, for more advice o to through it his face. This is
actually like the format of A Few Good Men,except that movie was just better.
The movie had promise but the promise
disappeared. Good performances but not enough to make the script better. The complaints
outweigh the positive. No recommendation. I give it 2 stars.
Reviewed by Buscemifan
Rated R for violence and language.
Running Time: 123 mins.