Another 9 1/2 Weeks

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Another 9 1/2 Weeks

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Another 9 1/2 Weeks

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While the original 9 1/2 Weeks (1986) is in many ways a silly, pretentious film, it was nonetheless vastly influential. In addition to pushing the limits of how much sex mainstream Hollywood movies could get away with, it was an enormous international hit, grossing over $100 million worldwide and becoming one of video's first blockbusters. Yet its sequel is a decidedly low-budget affair. The only returning cast member is a pudgy, lethargic Mickey Rourke, whose Brando-with-brain-damage routine has not aged well over the last decade. At the film's outset, Kim Basinger's character has met with some sort of mysterious accident, prompting Rourke to travel to Paris and take up with her best friend, a brilliant fashion designer played by pneumatic ex-model Angie Everhart. The two begin a torrid affair, which includes wildly orgasmic sex in which both partners are not only standing up but fully clothed; taboo-shattering lesbian sex; crazy, beatnik-style parties wherein sexual deviants leer at a naked woman on a spinning wheel being covered in hot wax; sex on a bed covered with rose petals; and many other mildly kinky sex acts that you'll remember from the original film. As a matter of fact, pretty much everything in the original film is recycled, and what was new and interesting in 1986 looks pretty dated in 1997. Including Rourke, who reverted into grotesque self-parody shortly after 9 1/2 Weeks was released, and seemed to get worse with each passing year. He comes off as particularly old and feeble in this film, and his wretched performance is matched by that of the lovely but vacuous Everhart, who generates zero chemistry with her costar. Director Anne Goursand tries to re-capture the original film's look of hedonistic, gorgeous excess, but while the original was an interior decorator's wet dream, filled with impossibly stylish yuppie apartments with giant walk-in closets, the sequel takes place mostly in nondescript Parisian hotel rooms and dramatically lit but boring offices and runways. Even with its anemic script and plethora of bad performances, the essential problem with the sequel is that its influential predecessor's endlessly imitated sex scenes have turned into ridiculous clichés. The world has already been subjected to a thousand bad 9 1/2 Weeks rip-offs, and Another 9 1/2 Weeks is no better or worse than the rest of that sorry lot.

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