“Fifty Shades Darker” stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, and Rita Ora. Released on February 10, 2017, the film has Christian Grey trying to rebuild his relationship with Anastasia Steele, but trouble arises when his past comes back to haunt him.
The film is directed by James Foley, who also directed films such as Reckless, Fear, The Chamber, and Perfect Stranger. It is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by E. L. James, and it is the second installment in the Fifty Shades film series. The Fifty Shades books aren’t exactly as beloved as their quality, but that didn’t stop them from becoming best-sellers. 2015 saw the release of the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first in the series, which became a big box office success despite getting plenty of unfavorable reviews from critics. In case you’re wondering, I did manage to see Fifty Shades of Grey even though I haven’t read the books, and no, I did not see it just for the sex scenes. To be fair, I did appreciate the film’s cinematography, tone, and soundtrack, but everything else is just average at best. I wasn’t that excited to see this film to begin with, but I was slightly curious to see how it turns out since I heard some good responses from the audience. Like how I handled Fifty Shades of Grey, I handled the sequel like a fair and mature adult. I could honestly say that it has what it needs to please some fans of the books, but it still has its issues, regardless.
One of the things that I appreciate from this film is that it maintains the same tone that is used in the last film. It did manage to look like an erotic sex dream, but it doesn’t try to be anything different, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your reaction with the first film. The cinematography also helps in creating that exact feeling of being in a sexual fantasy. Johnson and Dornan reprised their roles as Steele and Grey, respectively. I thought their performances were fine for the most part, but there were some moments where their acting felt a bit flat. If there’s one thing that disappointed me the most, it would be the story. There were a lot of opportunities in the story that would’ve made me care more about the characters, mostly Grey, but the film failed to take advantage of any of them and winded up being a mediocre romance drama that likes porn. Like its predecessor, the film had a hard time mixing in its erotic style with a compelling story. To make matters worse, it even had some dialogue that unintentionally made me laugh. Gee, I didn’t realize that it’s also a comedy. Did I mention that it has sex scenes? This film has plenty of those erotic scenes that will make your pleasure senses tingle. To its credit, it did a nice job at making those scenes captivating, although there were a couple of them that could’ve been removed to make the film a bit shorter.
Overall, “Fifty Shades Darker” is just as erotic as Fifty Shades of Grey, but it wasn’t enough to bring that much pleasure to those who aren’t fans of the book series. Due to its disappointing story, weak characters, some laughable dialogue, and its desire to favor sex over substance, the film is a step down from its predecessor. It’s quite understandable that I wouldn’t like it that much because it’s made for a specific target audience, which happens to be the fans of the book series. Like I said before, I haven’t read any of the Fifty Shades books, therefore, I wasn’t able to fully invest myself with the film versions. If it does its job in entertaining its target audience, then I have no problem with it. It would’ve been even better if it had something that will please those outside of its target audience, but it is what it is, and I just have to accept it.