Heaping, distinctively unsexy pile of shit.
The first Fifty Shades had a novelty to it. People either saw it because they were fans of the books, or purely out of curiosity as its tagline suggested. Now let’s not be kind, it was garbage – but it was sneakily funny, perhaps unwittingly poking fun at its own ridiculousness. The sequel loses any charm, and instead pushes further into this deep, dull, frankly vanilla sexual abyss.
Darker is the continuation of the S&M saga, showing us where Ana is after the events of the first, and the return of Christian. However, other parties try to get in the middle of their romance.
A plot description that does anything but entice. The first’s screenplay wasn’t exactly Oscar worthy, so we had to enjoy it for what it was; a goofy, mindless and kinky comedy. Darker dabbles in comedy and lightness, then reaches for darker material without warning. Suddenly we’re seeing a random girl everywhere that seems to be stalking Ana, yet it isn’t focused on. The worst, and frankly hilarious bit of the film is a brief interlude of a helicopter crash. It acts a plot device but it’s never touched upon in detail, and gives a strong feeling that it was just thrown in for the sake of it.
Now for the “irresistible” couple – where’s the chemistry? For two people so helplessly in love, there could be a few more smiles. Dornan’s now characteristically sulky take (or lack of take) on Mr Grey bores, never being able to take him for the supposed figure of authority he is. Dakota Johnson, was and remains the highlight of the series so far, with a very subtle comic performance, and occasionally, relatively believeable.
But the sex itself is a problem – for a film so obsessed with its own “kinky fuckery” we see almost none of it. The furthest we go is a leg clamp and the usual blindfolds, likely to pull a yawn from the audience rather than any form of arousal. It’s a shame that a film that comes from material dipped deep in breaking boundaries is now definitively soft core.
The plot itself is just plain uninteresting. We move from place to place, fall out to make up to fall out, without any reference really to what has happened or what will happen. Ana and Christian’s romance also seems to be a problem for a puzzling number of people, and I don’t think the writers even know why.
To sum it up…
If anything comes from seeing the newest Fifty Shades, you’ll laugh a lot. But jokes aside, it’s worse than the first, and even that was dire. Perhaps the final chapter will reach a groundbreaking low.
Rating: ABSOLUTE MINCE!
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Author: Cameron Frew