HOLLYWOOD—“Fifty Shades of Grey” was a spectacular hit when the series of novels took the world by storm. That later transitioned to a big-screen adaptation that had women all over, clamoring to see what all the fuss was about. The flick shattered box-office records, so in Hollywood terms that means one thing: sequel! However, for those who were satisfied by the first installment, its sequel, “Fifty Shades Darker” is nothing like its predecessor and not that entertaining to say the least.
The steamy, erotic romance/thriller, not sure if that is accurate terminology to use to describe the movie, but be patient with me. We see the return of Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. These lovers found themselves in a precarious place at the end of the first movie; specifically Ana’s inability to wrap her mind around Christian’s interest in a dark world of sex.
This time around Christian finds himself chasing after Ana in hopes of rekindling their romance, but unlike the first movie Christian’s love for Ana has deepened. The problem with this movie is if you’re expecting romance you will be disappointed. If you are expecting a narrative that keeps you glued to the screen, forget about it. I mean within the first 40 minutes of the movie I think I dosed off twice, not once, but TWICE people. I honestly wouldn’t even consider “Fifty Shades Darker” a great date movie. Most guys are probably going to have trepidation about seeing the flick, while most women will indulge in the debauchery, but I’d argue they’d probably be turned off by some of the stuff the flick exposes. This movie will not appeal to all audiences, but it’s the dialogue that creates the biggest problem. I mean I can recall at least 10 times throughout the flick where the audience exploded in laughter. This is a romantic thriller, what is actually supposed to be funny here?
Making matters worse, is all those teases of this ‘thriller’ element that never comes to fruition. I mean that crazy chick with the gun in the trailer, barely has an imprint in the plot, and the other characters are simply here for show and tell. Kim Basinger as the older woman who first seduced Christian is laughable. I mean could we be looking at some fatal attraction plot-point for the third chapter? It’s very possible, but I can only wonder, if that will happen, but I’m certain it will. The same sentiment can be echoed for Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden, who plays Christian’s adoptive mother. I mean both of these ladies are Oscar winners and they don’t have much to do.
That is only further frustrated by these minor teases about Christian’s past, but the movie never fully elaborates on it. This movie could be deemed as one of the worst flicks of 2017, and we’re only in the month of February. The chemistry between Dornan and Johnson works, but without much of narrative to work with “Fifty Shades Darker” should have stayed in the dark.