Subscribe
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed
  • Google+

When BDSM Can’t Go Right: A Review of Fifty Shades Darker

0

I’m a person who really doesn’t like Fifty Shades of Grey. I love reading, and reading it made me want to eat ground glass. The portrayal of a BDSM relationship is a mess, and the writing style is even more of a mess. I’m also an active participant in fan culture, so I was totally confused as to why this piece of terrible fanfiction got its own series when there are other fan works that are just better. The Internet loves the series, but it also loves lampooning the series, and for good reason.

NBC / Universal

When the first movie came out and broke the world, I was reminded of why I disliked the series, and doubly annoyed about the lack of chemistry between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, who were clearly trying to make the most of the material they’d been given. Say what you will about the Twilight series and its many problems, but the chemistry between the main couple was not one of them, and was actually a high point of the franchise. Fifty Shades is based on Twilight, but they managed to find two actors who really, really don’t seem to like each other very much.

Universal

When Fifty Shades Darker came out, I was just not hopeful. Sure, the soundtrack would be amazing, but not much else would be. It would be the same awkward sex scenes, the same stilted dialogue, and the same rabid fans trying to excuse what was happening on the screen. I wouldn’t have even gone to see the movie at all if my cousin hadn’t dragged me to go see it, and I wouldn’t have even done that if she weren’t my favorite cousin.

I went into that movie a skeptic, and came out totally confused about all of my life choices, because Fifty Shades Darker was actually a good movie.

Well, let me qualify that a bit. If you go into the theaters to see the movie with your expectations on the floor, you might come out having had an enjoyable experience. That’s because the movie will exceed your expectations, but not if you’re expecting a traditionally good movie. While Fifty Shades of Grey was a horrendous experience for all involved, Fifty Shades Darker was actually something resembling fun. There’s more plot, even if it’s a ridiculous storyline about Christian Grey’s former submissive. Although that plotline is ridiculous, it’s at least not watching Dakota Johnson waffle about a contract for two hours. We also got backstory for everyone, which was pretty great considering we got basically nothing for a whole movie.

Universal

On top of that, this movie is hilarious. I’m not just talking about it being laughably bad, it was actually funny in an intentional way, which is really saying something considering how laughably bad the first movie was. I caught myself actually, genuinely laughing at certain parts of the movie, which made me want to leave the movie and rethink my life choices. Even wet blanket Christian Grey did things to make me laugh that weren’t trying to pass off unsexy scenes as sexy.

Even the sex is better, which kind of makes me cringe that I wrote that phrase. Anastasia Steele seems to have taken a few levels in assertiveness between movies, and is pretty proactive about saying what’s okay and what isn’t. Sure, Christian is still sort of controlling and abusive, but you can see that Anastasia isn’t going to take it lying down, and you can even see her calling out the behavior, which is much more than we got the last time around.

Universal

If we’re talking about actual filming, Fifty Shades Darker is better, too. We actually get to see vibrant colors in this film, which is blisteringly ironic because this is supposed to be a darker movie and it’s not. This movie that’s supposed to be darker is actually more fun, which is a pretty low bar to clear, but it’s still something.

I didn’t think I’d be writing anything about Fifty Shades that could ever be considered complementary, but here I am. This isn’t going to be a transformative cinematic experience or anything, but it will not be a waste of two hours of your time like the first film was. The film won’t necessarily be without its detractors, which is fair because while this movie was better than the first one, it’s still not a great movie overall. Regardless, if you’re dragged to see Fifty Shades Darker, go in with an open mind. You might find yourself surprised.

About Author

avatar

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: