WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A cop by day, lawyer by night (or the other way around), is oblivious to the fact that his wife is nailing the mechanic, oblivious to the fact that his secretary loves him and oblivious to the fact that his latest sexy client wants to sleep with him. But when his wife decides to plan his murder, his new client finally jumps his bones and an old nemesis gets out of jail vowing to avenge his sentence by killing the clueless flatfoot, it isn't long before the detective's bumbling mistakes start catching up with him and all kinds of shit starts to hit the fan.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
FATAL INSTINCT is one of those "dumb comedies" a la AIRPLANE and NAKED GUN, in which everything is played out as a parody, jokes are exaggerated for effect and almost everything is taken literally, instead of figuratively. I love these kinds of comedies when they work, and enjoy them to a certain extent even when they don't. This film hits the mark more than 50% of the time and I would say that's pretty successful. It also has a great rhythm, doesn't blow out all its jokes during the first 20 minutes and actually had me enjoying it more as it went along. The primary reason for my greater attraction to the film had to be its star, the all-but-forgotten actor, Armand Assante. I've always liked Assante in his films and can't really understand why he never became a bigger star than he did. He's amazing in this film, playing everything straight and as hilarious as you would expect from a dick without a clue. His hair, his demeanor, his half-assed attempts at competence...this guy is like the younger, good-looking version of Frank Drebin (and how about that wicked cha-cha in women's high heels?).
Many jokes cracked me up throughout this film (the actors changing the musical scores during their own scenes, the smoke being blown into Assante's face, the quick come-backs "I don't look as stupid as I am"), a majority had me smiling and only a few were way over-the-top or idiotic (the gunk getting stuck under her high heels got old, fast!). The plot was probably the film's greatest weakness, with very little substance or interest really. The directing was also nicely handled and even though the lead "femme fatale", Sean Young, was a little too "goofy" and obvious for my taste, I enjoyed all of the secondary actors, including the lovely Sherilyn Fenn, the always funny Christopher McDonald, the sexy Kate Nelligan and underused John Witherspoon (a man of my own heart...loves them nachos!). I also enjoyed the entire court-room sequence featuring a "play by play" by Bob Uecker, as well as the "recess" session. All in all, FATAL INSTINCT will likely be appreciated by anyone who enjoys films of the sort, with plays on such thrillers as FATAL ATTRACTION, SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY and others, an awesome lead and enough jokes to make it worth your "hour and a half" while.
Surprisingly, this newly released disc actually had some extras on it, including a commentary track by director Carl Reiner and writer David O'Malley, as well as 10 deleted scenes, many of which are funny enough to have been kept in the film itself. The commentary is not one of the best that I've ever heard, especially for a "goofy" comedy as such (both men seemed very patient, slow-talking...and well, kinda boring), but they did offer some background on parodies throughout the film, and even pointed out some stuff that you might not have picked up on the first time around. The deleted scenes offer about 20-25 minutes of fun (with or without commentary), including a completely removed scene featuring the late Dudley Moore, as well as some very funny ad-libbing by Bob Uecker ("I can see her beaver from here"). As per most goofy comedies of its type, you will either laugh heartily or stare in disinterest, but I liked most of the deleted stuff and was happy to see them included here. A theatrical trailer is also included, as well as some other MGM trailers.
A decent spoof which had enough funny jokes to make up for its unfunnier ones, as well as an entertaining performance by Armand Assante and a number of memorable one-liners. Nobody is going to mistake this film for a classic Zucker bros movie like TOP SECRET or AIRPLANE, but if a few dumb laughs is what you're looking for, check this disc out and have a blast. It's also one of those movies which delivers a-joke-a-second, so watching it over again can prove quite fruitful, especially with a decent commentary track and a number of funny deleted scenes to boot.