Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Movie review: Fifty Shades Darker

 Part two of the Fifty Shades trilogy picks up with Christian obsessing over his loss of Anastasia, who has moved on to a publishing career in Seattle.

Dakota Johnson (Anastasia), Jamie Dornan (Christian), Eric Johnson (Jack), Eloise Mumford (Kate), Bella Heathcote (Leila), Victor Rasuk (Jose), Luke Grimes (Elliot Grey), Marcia Harden (Mrs. Grey), Rita Ora (Mia Grey), Kim Basinger (Elena).

Fifty Shades Darker picks up where the first film left off, with Anastasia having moved on with her life while Christian obsesses over the loss of her love. But true to form, Christian does not leave Ana alone and she allows him back into her life. And once again, chaos ensues.

The picture painted of alternative lifestyles by this series continues to degrade. Ana refuses Christian constantly, only to relent moments later and express her love for him. Then we learn Christian's B.D.S.M focus is actually an outlet for childhood trauma. The result is both looking damaged and unable to help themselves, with their resulting relationship based on supporting emotional trauma rather than honesty and consent.

Acting was okay with Dakota Johnson and Dornan continuing to work well together. Eric Johnson was interesting but neither his character nor the implied parallel plot was never explored. Basinger was an interesting addition but again, her character and related story were never explored. The remainder of the supporting cast was good.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds felt largely like filler without much imagination. Dialogue was mediocre with some obviously missing conversations. Sound and soundtrack were decent.

This second film seemed to focus on the dysfunction of both Ana and Christian, while at the same time lacking depth and coherence. Tack on an abrupt ending and it becomes hard to take this one seriously.

With nudity, sexuality, adult situations, and some foul language, save this one for adults and above.

Released: 2017
Reviewed: 7.29.17
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Drama, Romance, Dramas based on the book, Romantic Drama

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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