February 16, 2017

Movie Review: Fifty Shades Darker

So, I am not one who should be writing about this movie, much less seeing it. I did not see the first film, have no intentions of seeing the first film, and will hopefully be able to live up to that promise. However, with that said, I did find myself sitting in a theater watching Fifty Shades Darker play out on the big screen in front of me. It was not one of my finer moments. Still, my girlfriend wished to see it and offered to pay, who am I to say no? Spending time with her should trump what was sure to be a miserable movie experience, right? I should be glad she wasn’t upset at my making fun of the thing.

Taking over the directorial reigns for this sequel is James Foley, a man who had made decent films in the past, but seemed to be here for the paycheck. It does not appear to have been much interest in directing this film outside of being a warm body on the set. That said, if there was any warmth on the set, it was most definitely kept off camera. The entire thing feels so cold, detached, distant, so as to keep me from caring about it in the least. This includes the screenplay which appears o have had minimal effort put into it. It was penned by Niall Leonard, who has spent his entire career to this point working in television. Most recently he wrote the television mini-series Air Force One is Down. He wrote the script based on the novel by his wife, E.L. James.

My girlfriend was surprised to learn that I had not seen the first film, I assured her I wouldn’t have any problem following along. I didn’t. It doesn’t hurt that the movie has no story. I just sat there wondering why they were acting the way they were acting, why they said the things they said. None of it made any sense. I do love stylized acting and dialogue, but when it has something going on (look at the films of Quentin Tarantino, or something like The Lobster). This was not stylized dialogue or acting, it was just bad, uninspired, and in no way believable.

Every so often, i would turn to the girlfriend and say “Really?” She would chuckle and say something like “It’s terrible, but I love it!” So, yeah, it does seem to appeal to some folks. I am not saying I am better than the people who enjoy this, I happen to like my fair share of trash. This, for me, goes beyond trash, I want to say it is one of the worst films I have ever seen, but will settle to call it the worst I have seen so far this year.

Fifty Shades Darker goes nowhere, does not give me any insight to the characters, is not interesting, and is not nearly as explicit as they would have you believe. It doesn’t help that Dakota Johnson’s voice drove me up the wall. There is something about it that I just cannot stand. Jamie Dornan was not all that believable either, there was no personality to his performance and there was a distinct lack of chemistry with Johnson for me to buy into their relationship. And don’t even start with Kim Basinger, while it was great to see her on the big screen, it seemed like she wandered onto the set and was confused as to why she was there.

I am not sure there is much else I can say about this movie. I really did not like it. Yes, I went in not expecting to like it, and I was right. The acting was terrible, dialogue was laughable, the whole thing seems set up to be made fun of. If you like it, great, more power to you. This is one movie I never have to see again…. Although, I suspect I will be back in the theater next year when the girlfriend wishes to see the next one. On the plus side, we did get to see My Bloody Valentine (1981) hosted by Joe Bob Briggs right after we say this.

Not Recommended.

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