‘Fifty Shades Darker’: Film Review
February 9, 2017 - Fifty Shades of Grey
Director James Foley takes a reins for a second film bettering E.L. James’ best-selling SM intrigue series.
“Darker”? James Foley’s Fifty Shades Darker, a second big-screen tour bettering E.L. James’s best-selling SM angel tale, goes rather in a other direction, replacing many of a initial installment’s speak of master/servant dynamics and contractually defined sex play with some-more lovey-dovey hoohah than many self-respecting rom-coms are peaceful to deliver. Taking a array over from Sam Taylor-Johnson, whose 2015 Fifty Shades of Grey warranted jeers alongside a $570-mil worldwide haul, Foley has a pursuit of introducing some outmost threats to a doubtful coupling of Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan’s Christian Grey. But he and screenwriter Niall Leonard can frequency divert adequate newness out of these new villains to win behind fans who felt burnt by a initial film. A final installment is already en route; design abating earnings each Valentine’s Day.
As a story begins, Anastasia has left Christian after an knowledge in his sex cave that, she felt, showed her a inlet of meanness dark within his SM practice. (News flash: Man who gets off on creation women contention to him has issues.) She has found a pursuit during a edition house, where a new management figure (Eric Johnson’s Jack Hyde) frequency hides his passionate seductiveness in her. But nobody compares to Christian, who has shortly begged his approach to a second possibility and — ah, how a tables turn! — told Ana he wants a genuine relationship, with no NDAs or dietary discipline contracting her.
Which radically drains Fifty Shades of whatever explain it had to a outre, however badly that explain was staked in James’s books and a initial film. This time, when there’s spanking to be done, it’s during Ana’s ask — and not since doors have non-stop in her essence and she feels a unfortunate need to submit, yet because, duh, it feels good.
Leonard and Foley offer adequate semi-naked sex scenes here to infer that apportion is no surrogate for chemistry. Both leads are appealing and demeanour good yet clothes, yet a roteness of their bulge-flexing intimacies is such that when, nearby a film’s end, a film showed off Mr. Dornan’s physique in a gym scene, women during Wednesday’s preview screening were plainly shouting during a contrivance.
There was a lot of snickering during that screening, in fact, yet some scenes inexplicably slid by yet mockery. Where were a guffaws when Ana described cunnilingus as “kinky f––kery,” as if it weren’t an constituent partial of modern-day, plain-vanilla lovemaking? Where were a taunting hoots when Christian, in response to Ana’s comment, “I didn’t know we had a place in Aspen,” quipped “I have a lot of places”? Especially in this Trumpian era, can we not during final plainly ridicule such one-percenter smugness?
But of course, a enterprise to be swept divided by Prince Bucksalot is some-more executive to a Fifty Shades code than any oddity about non-mainstream passionate gratification. Darker frequency hides this, and gets into difficulty when it pretends not to caring about Christian Grey’s riches. How can a filmmakers keep a true face when they have Anastasia angry about Christian’s enterprise to “own” her and then, hardly dual scenes later, uncover her agog during a closet full of engineer gowns and lingerie? Blindfolds and beautiful wrist restraints are only this year’s extraneous turn on a Cinderella story. Fifty Shades might take heedfulness not to let Anastasia indeed accept anything as tactless as money for a physique she hands over so frankly to her prince, as Julia Roberts did in Pretty Woman. But it’s tough to fake this represents any suggestive step toward a destiny feminists can be unapproachable of.
Production company: Universal Pictures
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Kim Basinger, Luke Grimes, Eloise Mumford, Max Martini, Eric Johnson, Rita Ora, Victor Rasuk
Director: James Foley
Screenwriter: Niall Leonard
Producers: Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, E.L. James, Marcus Viscidi
Director of photography: John Schwartzman
Production designer: Nelson Coates
Costume designer: Shay Cunliffe
Editor: Richard Francis-Bruce
Composer: Danny Elfman
Casting directors: Laray Mayfield, Julie Schubert
R, 117 minutes