Fifty Shades Darker carries on from it’s predecessor Fifty Shades of Grey released this time last year while Christian (Jamie Dornan — The Fall, Anthropoid) wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia (Dakota Johnson — 21 Jump Street; Black Mass) must confront the anger and eve of the women who came before her.
WIth a cast boasting the likes of singer turned actress that never should’ve been Rita Ora, original batman alumni Kim Basinger, and well enough respected television actress Marcia Gay Harden, along with newbies in Australian Bella Heathcote (The Neon Demon) and Eloise Mumford (The River), it really makes you question why they accepted their roles as apart of this abomination of a film that shouldn’t have been allowed to have been made in the first place. It’s a horrible and disgusting portrayal of a ‘relationship’ (if you could call it that in the first place) that promotes stalker-ish behaviour and abusive relationships.
This latest instalment of what originated as Twilight fan fiction, it’s hardly a step in the darker direction. The coupling of ‘actress’ Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele, who can barely emote more than a whimper in her supposed lover’s direction, and Jamie Dornan’s Christian Grey, who has seen better days on television’s The Fall, is such an unlikely pair that without any chemistry whatsoever. And in whatever attempts director James Foley and writer Niall Leonard try to make up for in quantity — whether they be in fully- or semi-naked sex scenes that make you feel like you’re watching the film with your parents — there is absolutely no substitute for chemistry that’s needed for films in the ‘romantic’ genre. As an asexual, who was dragged along to see this film, this is exactly how it made me feel. I was both disgusted and horrified (no, literally — I felt like I was in a horror film that I couldn’t escape)
Both Johnson and Dornan have about as much chemistry as onions and peanut butter — it stinks and may cause you to have an allergic reaction. Fifty Shades Darker is hardly something that would ever fit into the romantic genre due to the abhorrent and beyond distastefulness of the film.
It’s amazing how many women have been enraptured by the Fifty Shades films align with the novels that they’re based off. It wasn’t hard to gain a few annoyed looks from others in the cinema at the charade they were consuming. What’s even more baffling is Anastasia’s complaints about Christian’s intense desire to own her yet, merely two scenes later, she’s in awe of a closet full of designer clothes that he’s gifted her. There’s also the scene where she’s shocked at Christian’s dominance in the bedroom only to be followed by her request to be spanked a few short scenes later. There’s no explanation for this and Anastasia essentially no character development. While watching, its’ really hard to decipher what she actually wants.
It’s a film that certainly sends us back into the dark ages of women’s rights and hardly something that represents the BDSM community in any facet. ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ is misogynistic at its core and treats the protagonist as something that’s meant to be owned. It leads the charge on one of the years worst films. WIth films like this being made, it makes you feel like anyone could do it.
Film-O-Meter: -10000000000000000000 (continuous) /10.