‘Fifty Shades’ of Disappointment

By Ray White
Staff Writer

It’s sexier, it’s more intriguing, it invites you into the hearts of the characters, and yet “Fifty Shades Darker” is just barely better than the movie before it.

“Fifty Shades Darker,” the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey” in both novel and movie form, could have arguably stayed a book.

The film yet again follows the scandalous duo: Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan) and Ana Steele (played by Dakota Johnson). Grey is a playboy billionaire whose poor upbringing has caused him to desire sadist relationships with countless women, where he is the dominator and his women are his subordinates. Then there is the quiet yet alluring Steel who longs for a relationship with Grey in spite of his many secrets, controlling personality and tortured past.

The movie has its moments of character development, which is much appreciated, and it even has portions of suspense that break the monotony of complicated relationship clichés.There are even a few scenes of quirky comedy that anyone over the age of 16 could appreciate.

Yet sadly the movie is unable to shine in any other aspect, and by the time you get to the end of the film you leave the theater wondering if that was really worth two hours of your time and $14 of your hard-earned money.

The picture juggled between what genre it actually wanted to be in its 1 hour and 58 minute run time. For the first 15 minutes it was a drama, then all of a sudden it was passionate romance, then 1 hour later it was a suspense film.

At one point I partially believed that the film is about a young woman asserting her independence upon her overprotective/controlling lover, but if you guessed that you would be dead wrong.

The movie even glossed over large controversial topics as if they are not supposed to have any effect on the characters in the movie. Workplace sexual harassment, stalking, possessiveness, mental instability, major familial problems and the extent of BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism) were all controversial issues portrayed, yet not addressed in this film. Then again, I guess these things do not need to be talked about if there are raunchy sex scenes every 15 minutes.

The movie, as a whole, would be awfully dull were it not for the explicitly suggestive sex scenes. Sadly even the appeal of sex cannot save this movie from the hole it dug itself into. Poor dialogue, unnecessary scenes (and trust me, there were a lot), and failed opportunities to make this film a solid romance movie with some real heart are some of the reasons “Fifty Shades Darker” does not deserve a re-watch.

I give “Fifty Shades Darker” a two out of five stars, and sadly that is being nice. It is an over-sexualized and underwhelming film that many would agree does not live up to the novels it was based upon.

The film has its moments but anyone who cherishes where their hard earned money is spent should look for an alternative. Wait for it to come on DVD or even any streaming program like Netflix or Hulu.

Do not make this a date night film unless it is requested by your date, and if you are a fan of the book, do not have high expectations for this movie.