With its expectations set so low, Fifty Shades Darker had nowhere else go but up in terms of quality. Yet try as the sequel might, all the romancing and pretensions in the world could not turn a piece of shit into something more than a piece of shit.
Fifty Shades Darker picks up after the events of Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015), showing Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dorman) right after their break-up. After the split, the two try to give their steamy and strange romance a second shot, while encountering both dark secrets and the return of Christian Grey’s shady past.
Based on E.L. James’ book of the same name, Fifty Shades Darker continues the series’ legacy of being one of the most laughably stupid pieces of cinematic shit ever shat out. Fifty Shades Darker not only makes videos in Pornhub look like Oscar gold, but also takes the fun out of fucking.
Mr. Grey Does Hollywood
Despite having a multi-million Dollar budget and otherwise capable actors on board, Fifty Shades Darker is just the world’s most expensive softcore porno, not a movie. Characters float from scene to scene, spouting dialogue that serves as filler between sex scenes. None of the them have any chemistry, and they interact with one another with as much enthusiasm as someone who’s trying to fuck a chair.
To say that Fifty Shades Darker has a story is a joke – at most, this expensive sex tape has a plot written in bullet points and crayons. The much advertised conflicts revolving around the main couple trying to mend their rocky relationship all the while dealing with Grey’s stalker are resolved in mere seconds, once again only existing to be the prolonged foreplay that comes before and after the sex.
But like a horny teenager, Fifty Shades Darker rushes through its runtime – ignoring everything essential to basic storytelling – just to get to the sex scenes. And what sex scenes are in Fifty Shades Darker are tame at best. Even if the advertising claimed that the movie would lean towards the hardcore side of procreation, Fifty Shades Darker plays it safe and minimizes the amount of onscreen fucking when compared to its predecessor.
Of the few risqué scenes featured, less than three could count as actual BDSM (Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism and Masochism), while the rest are glorified ads for the most generic sex toys and ropes imaginable – all of which are done with forgettable pop songs blaring in the background.
Unsexy Sexual Tension
Despite the questionable lack of engaging sex in an erotica movie, Fifty Shades Darker is a slight improvement over Fifty Shades Of Grey, if only in concept. Fifty Shades Darker starts off slightly interesting, with Anastasia realizing how much of a creepy motherfucker Grey is. Coupled with this is Grey’s realization that his lifestyle may be wrong. Surprisingly for a character who only knows how to express affection through domination, he comes to the conclusion that he may love Anastasia not as a submissive, but as an equal.
If the sequel chose to follow through with these points and deconstruct the series’ indulgence as a black comedy, it could have been something different. But as implied by the overall mood of this review, Fifty Shades Darker sees this opportunity and promptly tells it to fuck off.
Fifty Shades Darker takes itself so seriously to the point of self-parody, only without any humor. The film lacks self-awareness, resulting in an overlong, tone-deaf narrative where characters only exist to fuck on and off screen. Stuff and things happen for no reason, leaving no impact or relevance to the story at large. Since these people have no lives or personal issues outside of fucking and fulfilling the author’s wet-dreams, the stakes (that now include life and death) are voided because they don’t matter when compared to Grey’s dilemma of picking which beads to shove up Anastasia’s crotch. Erotica fiction is meant to analyze the emotional toll of certain sexual deviances, not just showcase the filmmakers’ questionable yet predictable fetishes – which is what Fifty Shades Darker ultimately is.
But worst of all, Fifty Shades Darker glorifies the toxic relationship of Anastasia and Grey. The fact that Anastasia forgives everything Grey did before (including but not limited to: mental abuse, physical harm, obsessive tendencies, and stalking) simply because Grey has daddy issues drives in the point that Fifty Shades Darker is nothing but the author’s basic, sex fantasy in cinematic form. Their romance is reminiscent of a bad, tedious Filipino soap opera (complete with slapping), and by extension, poorly acted porn that people laugh at when drunk. For comparison’s sake, they’re the kind of couple who fuck right after making bad jokes and eye contact.
This movie operates on pornography logic through and through: Fifty Shades Darker only wants audiences to ejaculate on command, not realizing that it needs to earn the audience’s trust and respect before getting in bed to satisfy that nagging need to seed.
A Middle Finger Against Fucking
For a movie that claims to be a mainstream representation of a niche lifestyle, Fifty Shades Darker comes off as an insult not only to anyone who belongs to the BDSM community, but to anyone with a brain. This is the kind of movie that’s not about humans, but rather one about poor representations of people. Fifty Shades Darker is erotica fiction done wrong, and a perfect example of how not to make a film.
At best, Fifty Shades Darker serves as the best method of non-government funded birth-control, because it discourages and bores horny people from thinking about fucking.
Then again, Fifty Shades Darker is the kind of movie that thinks Christian Grey’s morning workout session and a fucking yacht deserve a sensual montage; not the actual fucking. I would say “Fuck this movie,” but that might be exactly what the movie wants viewers to do, so don’t give it the pleasure and just look for something else to bust that nut.
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