“Fifty Shades Darker” Review ✦✧✧✧✧

11 February, 2017

Director: James Foley
Screenwriter: Niall Leonard
Director of Photography: John Schwartzman
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan

Synopsis: Following a painful separation, Anastasia Steele finds herself drawn back to the allure of the mysterious Christian Grey who attempts to outrun his dark past by agreeing to a new set of rules.

Fifty Shades Darker Review:

Doomed to fail due to its dire source material, “Fifty Shades Darker” picks up where the story trails off, igniting its dead-on-arrival romance without avoiding the trappings of its trashy soap opera storyline. Where the series’ initial director Sam Taylor-Johnson desperately tried to find ways to distract viewers from the garbage screenplay, finding the perfect lighting and music to create the mood required, Foley crafts the sequel without innovation or emotion, refusing to deliver on the ‘darkness’ promised in the title with an even more pathetic take on the BDSM lifestyle.

Those who have dabbled in such thrills are unlikely to find the “Fifty Shades” franchise even remotely bearable with its twee housewife-friendly interpretation of sexual subcultures. Even for the most vanilla of viewers, the love scenes are undeniably flat and uninspired, ruined by the makers’ refusal to take the more pornographic route when adapting a highly explicit set of erotic novels. Unlike the first movie, “Fifty Shades Darker” goes to much greater lengths in a bid to appeal to its target demographic, pandering through nauseating romance, passion, and the promise of commitment with a ridiculous five-part marriage proposal. Neither Dakota Johnson nor Jamie Dornan are prepared to bare all either physically or emotionally and their lack of chemistry only worsens without the presence of any real on-screen conflict.

“Fifty Shades Darker” presents a love story at such a mundane and boring stage in its lifespan that it has to throw messy and contrived melodramatic plot points into the mix in order to keep the attention of its half-invested viewers. For a film containing a helicopter crash, a standoff at gunpoint, and a workplace sexual assault, the movie feels painfully lacking in tension, mostly because every single character is either a laughable archetype of submissive femininity or a possessive ape motivated by their creepy sexual desires. “Fifty Shades Darker” couldn’t be more callous in its lack of adoration for both its stars and its viewers, both of whom would be better off without it existing, and it still feels mostly meaningless as a film comprised of scenes that do nothing outside of servicing its extensive running time.


Review Date
Fifty Shades Darker