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Review by Jason Morrison

You may have noticed that this month brings reviews of both this movie and its Disney counterpart, Tarzan. Though they haven't generated the kind of press that Armageddon and Deep Impact did last year, or even Big, 18 Again and Trading Places did a few years back, this has proven to be the biggest box-office ape movie battle ever.

Instinct, like Tarzan, is based on a man who lives with gorillas.

In Instinct, however, the hero is not raised by them; no, he is already a cranky old man when he comes to live with them. Cranky old man Anthony Hopkins plays this modern-day Tarzan, Dr. Ethan Powell. Powell has been taken into custody and sent back to prison in the U.S. for the murder of two rangers. He won't talk, and keeps going nuts and attacking people, making his chances for parole slim.

Young psychiatrist Dr. Theo Calder (Cuba Gooding Jr.), though, thinks he can get Powell to talk and then maybe write a best-selling book or two. The bulk of the movie is Calder's continued attempts to get Powell to open up, talk about the killing and the violence and meet with his daughter. Powell spends most of the movie snarling and showing Calder that control is just an illusion.

The movie's not half bad, with Hopkins doing a pretty good job in the Hanibal Lecter/Gorillas in the Mist routine, and Donald Sutherland playing-- what else-- an old mentor type guy who doesn't really do anything. Gooding's performance is better than his recent Pepsi One commercials. If you like him in general, I guess you'll like him in this movie too.

Usually I don't like to give away the end, but I have to say that the best part of the entire film is when Hopkins finally bludgeons and eats Gooding. It was also nice to see Gooding get the girl in the end (before he dies and all).

Gorilla movies are too few and too far between. This one is both.


(Out of five)

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