Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Fifty Shades Darker (2017) - Film Review


*Originally written February 13th, 2017*
"Fifty Shades of cinematic cancer"

I know I'm far from the target audience this film series is aimed at. I'm neither a teenage girl or a sexually repressed middle-aged woman, so it really is not for me, but for my own twisted sadomasochistic reasons, I endure this franchise and it proves I really will see anything they release in a cinema. Even this abomination of "Kinky fuckery".

Fifty Shades Darker is more or less the same. A 2 hour shit-show of soapy melodrama, a laughable script and bored performances. Although one thing is different, they attempt heighten the "tension" with these hilarious moments of forced drama that come out of nowhere. It feels like a trashy '90s thriller in the vein of Basic Instinct, but with none of what made it great.

Once again the relationship at the center of the film is more damaging than it is romantic. It really scares me seeing girls share on Facebook and Twitter about how they "want their Christian Grey". It baffles me, this man is a creepy, controlling psychopath who seems more likely to skin you alive than provide romance. His relationship with Ana is so problematic. She breaks up with him at the end of the last film, but they're back together within the first 15 minutes under the promise "this time it's different"

Fucking in the shower with clothes on
What's funny is that nothing has changed. Ana more or less goes along with everything Christian demands of her with little to no discussion. Just this time there is no bondage until a very minor scene towards the end. Despite doing all of what Christian says, late in the film during a scene of forced tension involving a gun, Christian demands that Ana "Do what she's told, for once". It was so poor and out of nowhere.

That isn't the only moment that comes out of nowhere. In the last 20 minutes there is a helicopter crash that just happens, with no build up or any kind of intent the film would have a scene like this. Like a lot of the film, it feels like a collection of deleted scenes that are jumbled together to make a 2 hour film. After this helicopter crash, Christian shows up at his apartment with some bruising and covered in dirt, then the scene is forgotten. It was bizarre.

Even with the rare "18" rating in the UK. The sex is incredibly tame and lifeless. I don't never seen two actors seem so bored when they were in bed together. It was also strange that Jamie Dornan spends nearly all of the sex scenes with his jeans on while Dakota Johnson gets completely naked. At least she put some dedication into the scenes. Also, for a film about BDSM, a surprising lack of it.

One of the more frustrating things about Fifty Shades Darker is how uninterested the actors seem in general. Everyone in this film I've seen in other stuff and know they are capable actors. Here they just seem bored delivering some awful lines with no effort put in. I honestly think Jamie Dornan wears the same facial expression in every scene. Did his face move?! I don't know. Dakota Johnson didn't fare much better, the most interesting part about her performance is the way she seemed to say "Urm" during sentences, giving the impression she was trying to remember the script while filming.

There is at least an excuse to explain why Christian is the way he is. There's some tacked on stuff about him being abused by his mother when he was a child, burning him with cigarettes. It's revealed his body is covered in cigarette burns, but I am pretty sure these were not present in the first. There's also a weirdly prominent post for 'The Chronicles of Riddick' in his childhood bedroom, which just felt so weird'.

If this film sends a horrible message about romanticising an abusive relationship, they try their hardest to make Christian a "good" guy by making every other male character with more than a scene of screentime a monster. The only other real male character with screentime is Ana's boss, who they NEED to make a villain for some reason as he tries to rape Ana in another scene that comes out of nowehere in an attempt at drama for the sake of drama.

Ana getting finger blasted by a creepy pervert in an elevator

I could make a list of some of the "best" lines in Fifty Shades Darker, but I only saw it yesterday, but I forgot most of them already. The ones that have stuck with me had to be "Kinky fuckery" (Which I am saying a lot) and "You taught me how to fuck, Ana taught me how to love". Both of which made me laugh out loud in the cinema to the presumable disdain of the middle-aged women getting off on this tripe during a late afternoon screening in a fairly empty cinema.

I didn't stay to watch the trailer for next years 'Fifty Shades Freed' inserted in the middle of the credits, but the cliffhanger ending of a barely used character looking over a hilltop at Christian's party while burning a cigarette in a picture of him leaves me very excited for the absolute nonsense that is gonna go down in February, 2018.

Fifty Shades Darker is pure garbage, problematic, laughably bad, lazy, boring and poorly acted. No one involved in this series gives a shit about the quality anymore, and it shows. One of the worst films likely to come out in 2017.

1/10 Dans

Fifty Shades Darker is out now on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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