In 2011, British author E.L. James achieved notoriety by writing the erotic novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Four years later it became a hit movie, wowing the intended audience who lapped up the salacious carry-on. Popularity breeds success and sequels which leads to ‘Fifty Shades Darker’. The second in the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy serves up more of the same. Those expecting undemanding naughtiness will see plenty. Anyone expecting a good film will be disappointed as it’s as shoddily made as its previous and very wicked entry.
Multi-millionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is miserable. Although having the world at his feet, he is despondent over the recent departure of his muse Ana (Dakota Johnson). Wanting to resume their very adult romance, he insists Ana sets the terms of their relationship. Keen on the idea, Ana discovers more of the demons driving Christian’s sexual desires. The past quickly catches up with them as others threaten to spoil their union and dark activities.
‘Fifty Shades Darker’ is the type of movie that is critic proof. Many expect hardened film reviewers to sharpen their talons at the poor acting, script and direction. All of which can be found in the latest ’50 Shades’ instalment. It’s easy railing the ridiculous story and gaping plot-holes of which there are many. One could feel sorry for those involved although remembering how much they are getting paid to do these films lessens any remorseful feelings.
One of this sequel’s few saving graces is the expansion of Grey’s world and exploration of his background. You understand why he behaves in certain ways with his controlling nature alienating and arousing those around him. Most readers would want to know about the lauded sex scenes, which aren’t particularly erotic and stay within the film’s chaste ratings guidelines. The acting is uniformly poor with the leads showing little chemistry. Their co-stars’ lifeless performances make for unintentionally hilarious viewing as they react to each plot twist with Botox-filled emotions.
‘Fifty Shades Darker’ is pretty terrible but will make a fortune no matter what critics say. It does have few good points over its predecessor in terms of explaining character motivations. Otherwise it is business as usual for a franchise intent on making as much money as possible until the next flash in the pan novel phenomenon arrives.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 2
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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