Instinct (1999) / Thriller-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for some intense violent behavior
Running Time: 126 min.
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Donald Sutherland, Maura Tierney
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Screenplay: Gerald Di Pego
Review published December 4, 1999
Dr. Ethan Powell is a psychiatrist who studied apes in Africa then mysteriously disappeared for two years. Upon his discovery, he kills three men and is declared insane and sent to a shoddy mental hospital. Enter Dr. Theo Calder, a hotshot young shrink who wants to make a name for himself and unlock the secrets of Powell's insanity.
INSTINCT is a cross between GORILLAS IN THE MIST and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, with Hopkins once again playing a seemingly omnipotent and dangerous psychotic. Gooding dazzles with a fine performance during the powerful emotional moments, but seems out of place when undergoing psychiatric analysis. INSTINCT is worth watching for the performances and some well-done moments, but contrived scenes and predictable characters bog the film down enough to keep it from being truly great.
©1999 Vince Leo