Fifty Shades Darker, last year’s second installment, ended with the exciting (?) news that beautiful, abusive, billionaire sex addict Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and his reluctant submissive partner Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) are going married. Hooray! After a brief wedding to kick this film off, we’re thrown into their honeymoon, where the two fuck as often as possible while being forced to deal with this little word Christian Grey refuses to believe exists… compromise. Marriage is hard work, as Amy Dunne from Gone Girl will tell us, and so now we get to watch 2 hours of these unlikeable “protagonists” sorting through their shit and trying to convince each other that they’re both happy.
So not only do we follow the agonizingly long discussions and arguments between Christian and Anastasia, fighting about the future of their family and whether or not it’s okay to have BDSM sex whilst raising a child (there’s way too much screen time spent discussing this), we get an overly sinister villain popping up every now and again to threat Anastasia into…. Well, I don’t really know what he wants in this one. In the last one he was a creepy, perverted, rapist boss, but here, I guess he wants vengeance? Over something? His reasoning feels like an afterthought, tacked on in the final scene as an explanation for having to sit through all of his numbing scenes.
As for the rest of it, literally nothing makes sense. Anastasia and Christian purchase a dreamy house to live in, then literally never move into it. Plus, while they’re there, a sexy real estate agent or whoever the fuck that person was begins flirting with Christian, which, of course, Anastasia isn’t happy about. They set up some big conflict between the two, only to shove the character aside and never show her again. And it gets better! There’s another sub-plot involving Christian’s brother, Elliot (Luke Grimes), who may be a cheating, slutty scumbag, but once he gets engaged, his cheating is just dropped and forgotten as if we didn’t spent fifteen minutes setting it up.
Honestly, straight up fuck this movie. Perhaps I shouldn’t swear as much in these reviews, but for a franchise with the line “fifty shades of fucked up,” I think it deserves it. Nothing makes sense. Nothing matters. This isn’t what modern cinematic romance should look like. The acting is terrible. Nobody has chemistry. The writing is painful. I genuinely don’t think the writers or filmmakers know a) how normal people talk and behave, and b) how law enforcement works. Oh, and remember that *hilarious* scene in the last one where Christian randomly vanishes in a helicopter, everyone gets worried and then he just rocks up like nothing ever happened? Yeah, they finally give us an explanation for it. And now the scene makes even less sense than ever before.
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