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Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker: Insipid, Flavourless and Just Plain Bad

  • Dakota JohnsonEloise Mumford...
  • DramaRomance
  • James Foley
reviewed by
Marija Djurovic
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Fifty Shades Darker: Insipid, Flavourless and Just Plain Bad

It’s difficult to put into words just how ridiculous, uninteresting and thoroughly exhausting Fifty Shades Darker, the follow up to the equally dreadful Fifty Shades of Grey, really is. Directed by James Foley, the sequel does manage to exceed its predecessor in some parts, but it once again finds itself at a loss when it comes to generating the necessary chemistry between the two leads who, for the second-time running, are struggle to find the right approach and their place in this rather insipid, flavourless and tired game of love and seduction.

Following her breakup with her billionaire boyfriend, Christian Grey (Dornan struggling to maintain an American accent), Anastasia Steel (Dakota) has managed to find a way to move on with her life, accepting a position as an assistant to book publisher, Jack Hyde (Johnson) who – like everything else in the movie – is not subtle about his plans for his new helper. However, her newly-found freedom is soon halted when Christian comes begging for a second chance, promising to be more open and agreeing to the new terms of their ‘vanilla’ relationship which Anastasia has laid down.


Surprisingly, Christian manages to stick to his promise and the two are quick to fall back into their self-proclaimed passion and various sexual escapades, although his jealousy and need for control is still very much present. Troubles arrive when Anna becomes aware that Christian’s ex-lover Elena (Basinger in one of her worst performances to date) is still very much a part of his life and that one of his former subs, Leila (Heathcote) – a troubled young woman who begins to stalk Anna – is out looking for revenge.   

Despite the detailed summary of the storyline above, there really isn’t much of a plot to follow here. Written by Niall Leonard – husband of author and creator E.L James – there’s sense of randomness throughout the forever-labouring 118 minutes with the narrative, although a little bit more motivated this time around, failing to pin down any logic or substance to the flimsy script.


While the leads do look a bit more physically comfortable with each other, the overall result is still pretty hopeless and most of all, ineffective, as they struggle both to deliver depth to their roles.

Absent of the edginess, and kinkiness, the storyline that desperately needs, Fifty Shades Darker offers more of the same tepidness and banality when it comes to the montage of the Hallmark-inspired sex scenes – something you won’t see much of if you’re to watch the movie in Egyptian cinemas.  

Like This? Try

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), 9 ½ Weeks (1986), Possession (2002)

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Fifty Shades Freed is due to be released sometime in early 2018.

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