I know, I know. The movie is seriously panned by critics and casual moviegoers, but I watched it anyway. Why? Because I believe in second chances. And the trailer was intriguing enough to warrant viewing.
Never trust trailers.
The teaser trailer hinted on a real conflict with the appearance of “Mrs. Robinson” (Kim Basinger), the older woman who seduced and abused Christian Grey when he was just in his teens. Add Leila Williams, Christian’s suicidal former submissive, into the mix and it has the makings of a real sexy thriller like Fatal Attraction or Jagged Edge.
But of course, it’s NOT!
Fifty Shades Darker picks up where the first movie left off. Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is pursued (yet again) by Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). They kissed and made up, have sex over and over again. It’s pretty much the same drill as in the first movie. This time, they added three seemingly intriguing and frightening characters: Jack Hyde (Anastasia’s Jekyll & Hyde of a boss – hence, the name); Mrs Robinson, the elderly dominant; and Leila, the submissive. If only they were used to their potential, this movie might have had a chance.
I really can’t blame director James Foley on this one because he can only do so much with the material he had. My heart goes out to the film’s screenwriter Niall Leonard. He tried to make sense of E.L. James’ story (who happens to be his wife).
Sure, there’s tons of sex, as promised, but the plotholes and continuity issues are far too glaring to be ignored. It’s laughable. The Jack Hyde subplot was too thin. The Mrs. Robinson angle didn’t go deep enough. Perhaps the most interesting part is the little story of the former submissive who couldn’t get over Christian. But still, it didn’t have much pay off in the end. There’s no redeeming value at all.
Dakota Johnson was charming and awkwardly funny in the first movie. This time, she’s just awkward.
And Jamie Dornan can’t act.
I’m surprised at myself for saying this: The first Fifty Shades movie was better, even with its massive faults.
Oh wait, there’s one good thing about the movie – The Soundtrack.