While many sequels aren't justified, some are less justified than others and a follow up to Paul Verhoven's Basic Instinct really isn't what the world is after. That about 8 people went to see confirms this assertion. If the IMDb is anything to go by, Sharon Stone has got a great deal out of the sequel, as well as exercising considerable power of its production, which seems surprising given that she's not starred in anything remotely successful since, erm, Antz. It is entirely probable that Jerry Goldsmith was asked to compose for the sequel, but the film was only completed after his death and so John Murphy was hired in his stead. Murphy has largely scored for British films and television, but seems to be gaining recognition and Basic Instinct 2 is an entirely respectable effort.
At the risk of inciting wrath, I must confess that Goldsmith's original score is one of the few top Goldsmith scores that doesn't really inspire me in the way that most of them do. The main theme is undeniably terrific, but the score's icy chill makes it difficult to, erm, warm to. Over the entire duration of the expanded edition, it becomes a bit much. Murphy's approach is to take the Goldsmith theme, present in on a few strategic occasions and largely do his own thing in between. Inevitably, it comes across as a bit disjointed; Goldsmith's melody is extremely memorable and, while there are a few minor variations, Murphy doesn't really expand on it in any meaningful sense. Murphy takes a slightly more modern approach when compared to Goldsmith's noirish thriller style. The intriguingly titled 120 MPH Sex sets the tone with a more percussive sound, rather more urban and contemporary. Funnily enough, there are times when it does rather bring to mind porn music, notably (if not surprisingly) in Sex with Catherine.
A couple of unusual elements are thrown in, notably a slight middle eastern influence in Bodies Still Warm, Soho and The Long Night of the Soul. There's no wailing vocalist, but the melodic and harmonic shapes are distinctly non western; strange, but the exoticism is actually quite effective even if it pulls the score in yet another direction, however briefly. I'm not sure that aping Goldsmith entirely would have been successful; then again, the one moment that Murphy moves beyond just the main theme, Jacuzzi, uses some classic Goldsmithian action extremely effectively. Removing Goldsmith's theme from the score would not leave any obvious gaps in the structure of the album. However, it easily comprises the score's most memorable aspect and without it, Murphy's music is well wrought, but rather lacking in anything truly distinctive.