Fifty Shades Darker

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Cheers! To another $100 mil we'll make on a bad film.

I’m going to start my review talking about the only good thing in the movie. The use of Van Morrison’s Moondance (although it wasn’t nearly as good as when An American Werewolf in London used it), and The Police’s So Lonely. Two terrific songs.

This is one of the many screenings I’ve gone to where cell phones kept being turned on. At least 25 times, I’d be distracted by the blue light of an iphone turning on. Security was standing right near one of the culprits, and they did nothing. Yet since it was a movie that was so bad, I didn’t care enough to get out of my seat and ask security or the studio reps why nothing was being done. I figure if they don’t care enough about the audience or critics, oh well.

I should start this review by saying I hated the first movie. It’s crazy that this movie is even worse. Especially since this time around, it seems that Anastasia Steele (doesn’t anybody else think this is the stupidest name ever?) actually seems to be enjoying the sex. Even that didn’t help.

The film starts with Christian Gray (Jamie Dorman) trying to win Steele back. He does this by stalking her, because…nothing says romance like stalking. She quickly gets back together with him, despite lecturing him on how he has to change and how she wants to take things slow. Yet she quickly jumps in the sack with him.. One of many things that doesn’t make sense, is how he is claiming to change his ways when it comes to the domination and humiliation with her. So every 10 minutes they have a huge fight…they have make up sex, and during that, she agrees to bring out all his wacky sex toys. Sometimes she encourages him to spank her. Uh…isn’t this like bringing an alcoholic that’s on the wagon, to the local pub for a bite to eat?

It’s also hard to figure out how if a suicidal woman is stalking this couple, and Christian is informed of this by Anastasia, he just says quickly, “We gotta go.” He doesn’t pay one of his many security guards to follow them around?  He doesn’t pay a security guard to guard her house? He doesn’t file a restraining order? He doesn’t do that because then we wouldn’t have the eventual confrontation these two women. It’s easily the most calm I’ve ever seen a person with a gun pointed at them…or it’s just one of the many reasons Dakota Johnson might be the worst actress working today.

In the long list of idiotic scenes, there’s one where the couple show up at a hairstylist, so Anastasia can get her hair done for a big ball (no pun intended). We quickly find out it’s Elena Lincoln (Kim Bassinger), the woman who sexually molested Christian as a child. He’s shocked that Anastasia is angry about this “Mrs. Robinson.” Uh, really? You didn’t think she’d ask who that woman was, or be upset by this?

Oh, and let’s talk about the dialogue. All of the characters talk in a clunky and dull fashion. She tries to say things like “I read a lot of Austen.” It takes you a second to realize she means “Jane Austen” because, the idiotic screenwriters don’t even understand how people talk. Nobody that listens to Michael Jackson says, “I listen to alot of Jackson.” Nobody that reads Jane Austen calls her “Austen.”

There’s a boss that obviously likes Anastasia, and he thinks nothing of flirting openly in front of the HR woman, or looking at her butt as another employee sees him staring. You can all guess which direction that is going, and which part of the body she’s going to kick him in. Seriously, did a 5th grader write this garbage?

Speaking of the work place, when Christian shows up where Anastasia is having drinks with the office, he’s rude to her boss. At that point, why doesn’t she realize this guy is a psycho? If I’m dating somebody, and they’re rude to my boss because they’re jealous, I’m out of there; or at the very least, it’ll be a two day fight with me explaining how adults talk and act to other adults. Instead, she laughs and has a throw away line about “I’m trying to impress my boss and make a good impression.”

When there’s a work related convention she has to go to, and one she’s looking forward to, he tells her via text, “You can’t go.”

So, let me get this straight. He spends the first part of the movie trying to get her back and once he gets her back he….just starts bossing her around? Wouldn’t he be in ass-kissing mode for at least the next few months?

There’s also the ridiculous scene with a helicopter crash. I won’t spoil it for those that haven’t read the book (consider yourself lucky). Nothing that happened in that scene is anything like what would happen in real life.

You’ll also have a hard time figuring out why these two even like each other. They sit there staring at each other like a couple of nimrods [side note: that might also be the name of one of the devices in his sex dungeon]. Sure, they’re both attractive, but neither has anything interesting to say. And again…Dakota Johnson’s acting. Her voice just sounds ridiculously dumb, but part of that could be due to the dialogue.

The songs that come in during the sex scenes make it sound like we’re watching some soft core porn, with an ‘80s hair band doing the music.

This is like a bad soap opera (is that redundant?) with sex scenes.

My wife (who hated the movie as much, or more, than I did) noticed that they took a line from Working Girl. When Anastasia goes from being an assistant, to the main boss, her assistant offers to get her coffee. She tells her to call her by her first name, and only get coffee if she’s getting one for herself. Since Dakota’s mom is Melanie Griffith, that’s an interesting tip of the hat (to a much better film).

I couldn’t fault women for flocking out to see the first movie, because it was an event. It’s like how the fan boys get excited over the latest Star Wars or superhero film. Yet after seeing how bad that movie was, if you’re still looking forward to this…or even going to see it…there’s something seriously wrong with you. If you see this and actually like it…it’s a safe bet that you’ve got a rather low IQ. This movie is already on the top of my “worst of the year” list, and we’re just over a month into the new year.

It gets 0 stars.

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