Fifty Shades Darker manages to be worse than its original in that it isn’t rage inducing because it is so incredibly boring.
Director: James Foley
Summary: While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her.
Fifty Shades of Grey is a baffling series in that it was popular for a hot minute and then everyone forgot about it. Then the movie came out about five years too late with two leads who looked like they would have rather been anywhere else and it made money for one weekend before dropping off. Now the sequel is here to remind everyone that this series is one of the least sexy things to ever come up on screen. Disregarding the fact that the entire series uses the BDSM community as a façade for domestic abuse, this series really only has one job; show some sexy and kinky sex scene and they can’t even do that. The only people who will think that these sex scenes are even remotely kinky are people who have no idea what sex actually is. The erotica genre could make a return but this is not how to do it.
The fact that the sex is boring is the worst part but there isn’t anything interesting going on in the background either. These people aren’t so much one dimensional as they hardly exist. They would be complete cyphers maybe if there was some sort of underlying point that could work but there is no point in Fifty Shades Darker. We find out that Christian Gray (Jamie Dornan) has an obsessed ex (because of course he does) and Gray is apparently the best thing since sliced bread. That is ignoring the fact that apparently Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) is the hottest woman alive as another man throws himself at her so we can witness some workplace sexual harassment. To say that there is no chemistry between these two people is to do a disservice to chemistry.
The problematic parts of the original movie aren’t quite as on display as this one as there isn’t a dom/sub contract this time, but Christian remains one of the creepiest leading men next to Edward Cullen. He doesn’t quite stalk Ana but he doesn’t seem to take a hint. She dumped him in the previous movie, rightfully, but he is still sending her flowers and gifts. He gives her $24K and then refuses to say how he has her bank details. He buys the business that she works for and forbids her from going on a trip with her new boss. He was a creep, though, so we’re supposed to take that with stride but it isn’t okay. He controls her entire life under the guise of love but it isn’t love. He wants to own her and no amount of puppy dog eyes is going to change that.
Fifty Shades Darker is another boring entry into a series that is somehow shaping up to be even worse than the source material it is based on. There is not a single redeemable feature to be had here. There is better written erotica for free on the internet and kinkier sex out there with the click of a mouse.
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