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’50 Shades Darker’ Review: Totally Worth It


In the premiere film, “50 Shades of Grey,” all Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) wanted was “hearts and flowers.” This is something Christian Gray (Jamie Dornan) could not give her, leading to the demise of their relationship. Well, in 50 Shades Darker, directed by James Foley and written by Niall Leonard, we get hearts, flowers, and—how should I put it? —Dessert.


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Universal Pictures brings us a steamy film for the excited ‘50 Shades’ fans, and their significant others who get dragged to watch it. But be warned, not everyone will love it. In the theater, audience members mocked the film and laughed during serious, dramatic scenes for no reason at all (Annoying!). Granted, there was something slightly comedic about over-the-top scenes and small humorous moments. For instance, when Ms. Steele’s boss, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), is caught leering hungrily after her he gets caught by an assistant, who gives him a face that says, “creep.” Or when Christian complains about his family throwing him an unwanted birthday party, saying in an exasperated tone, “They do this every year.”


The chemistry between Johnson and Dornan certainly heated up in this second installment. A major complaint about the first movie was that the attraction between them was not believable, and the sex scenes were lacking. Things really sizzled this time around with the two of them barely being able to keep their hands off of each other. Without giving too much away, you can expect to see tiny, spherical balls on a string and foot clamps. Intrigued?


The downside to this film was that it lacked a solid plot. If you read the books then you would know that there was more to the story. In this film a lot of the “darker” parts of the book where Christian is battling his inner demons, or when Ana has to come to terms with who he is, felt rushed. Many of the intimate, non-sexual moments Ana and Christian had together were few and far between, which is what made Christian’s offers to move in with and marry him that much more ridiculous to comprehend. Let’s be real though, the story is ridiculous, but that is part of its charm. We are supposed to get swept up the same way Anastasia does. We are supposed to be sickened by how “exceptional” Christian is. Some of what was written by E.L James did not translate well onto the silver screen.


Nevertheless, the movie is beautifully and dynamically shot. Shout out to the editor for timing the music perfectly to all of the sex scenes for maximum impact. We also get to see a shirtless—I mean—softer, happier and more human side to Mr. Grey, along with a sassier, stronger and more confident woman in Anastasia.


Go on! Grab someone and strap in for some shallow, intense and dramatic fun. It might not exactly be ‘Oscar-worthy,’ but it is totally worth it.


50 Shades Darker slides into theaters tomorrow, 2/10.


Review overview