Fifty Shades Darker

Dir: James Foley, 2017


The two most boring characters in literature are back for their second cinematic outing…and nothing has got any better.

Anastasia is single and working in a publisher’s office. Her boss fancies her (and himself) until Grey turns up on the scene, again.

Of course, the green-eyed monster rears his head and stuff, that no-one gives a damn about, happens.

That’s it in a nutshell.

Dakota Johnson returns as Anastasia Steele and her acting is as rigid as her character’s name. To say that Johnson comes from the genes of actress Melanie Griffith and actor Don Johnson, her skills in the art of drama suggest that she was switched at birth. A woeful actress who couldn’t deliver a newspaper, never mind her lines.

Jamie Dornan is here, again, as the monotoned Christian Grey. Dornan is incapable of delivering any emotion to the character, rendering him as little more than scenery. There’s more life in a mortuary than there is in this film.

This is how bad it is; even the cast of Neighbours would ridicule the acting.

There is absolutely nothing interesting whatsoever in this film. Ennui sets in as soon as the Universal Studios logo finishes.

The Fifty Shades Darker script was written by Niall Leonard, who just happens to be the husband of the book’s author, E.L. James. It certainly makes you wonder how much input James had with the script. To be fair, Leonard’s treatment does stay faithful to its source, as in, the book’s shite and so is this. Congratulations, there.

The characters are, unintentionally, portrayed as inane and moronic. Let me give you an example: Anastasia says that she left Grey because it looked like he was getting off on spanking her and inflicting pain.

Well, duh! That’s the whole point! He’s supposed to be getting off on it. That’s why people indulge in S&M.

Aside from the stupidity of the character, Anastasia comes across as a mardey bint with a spoilt princess complex. She seems to have a short memory, as well, as entering Grey’s dungeon (dungeon, my fat hairy arse!), Ana is overwhelmed by all the fetish gear on display, completely forgetting about the previous times she was in there getting spanked. I could be wrong, but I imagine that that’s something that you wouldn’t forget.

Fifty Shades Darker has more of a romantic plot than it’s predecessor but they are so cliched and badly written that it resembles a comedy. Seasoned director James Foley does not have an inkling of how to direct passion and is happy to allow the two leads to go through the motions. It isn’t exactly Nine and a Half Weeks or Wild Orchid. 

The portrayal of BDSM is so vanilla and dull, that to call it BDSM would be doing the fetish a great disservice. Barbet Schroeder’s 1975 film, Maitresse, depicted a more believable picture of S&M with its scenes of penises being nailed to planks of wood. To be fair, they’ve got the planks of wood in this but, here, it’s called the cast.

Fifty Shades Darker is an odd title as Christian Grey doesn’t have fifty shades of a personality. You’d be hard-pressed to find just one.

Nevertheless, the film is a tragic waste of time and money and anybody associated with the series should hide in shame and embarrassment

Absolutely dire.


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