When a wounded Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan, “The Fall,” Anthropoid) tries to entice a cautious Anastasia Steele
(Dakota Johnson, How to Be Single, Black Mass) back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple. Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson, “The Knick,” “Smallville”) and Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger, L.A. Confidential, 9 ½ Weeks) intensify the story, determined to destroy the couple’s hopes for a future together.

What We Thought:

What I think about the Fifty Shades franchise is pretty irrelevant. I had never read the books. As a single adult male, I’m not the target audience. But I have a sister who has read all the books and seen the movies as well so I’m going to combine my thoughts and hers in this review of Fifty Shades Darker.

To me, these films are pretty terrible. The dialogue is cheesy. The story itself feels like fan-fiction (oh yeah it started out that way). Although I will say this one felt a little bit better. The first film was laughably bad with corny scenes and unbelievable dialogue. This second film didn’t feel as bad. Maybe because it was more clear-cut and less about a shy girl and a man with weird sex habits.

Don’t get me wrong, this still is about Christian Grey and his odd ways of getting off, but the first film had scenes that I genuinely laughed out loud at. Christian introducing Ana to his lifestyle became meme worthy. This second film is more about keeping their relationship going which is way more relatable to me. The weird kinky stuff still comes into play, but at least at its core, this is about two people dealing with their relationship and their pasts.

My sister enjoyed Fifty Shades Darker more than Fifty Shades of Grey as well. She thought the chemistry between them was far better than in the original film. As someone who loved the books, she was disappointed in their chemistry and sex scenes in the first film. She found them more believable in the follow-up film.

What also helps the sequel is the use of other characters. Marcia Gay Harden and Rita Ora return, but we see the addition of Bella Heathcote, Kim Basinger and others. Anything that breaks up the Steele/Grey dynamic is a good thing to me.

Fifty Shades Darker was a decent hit at the box office. I’m not sure if the franchise is doing what they expected it to do, but I know they are making the third film as we speak. I’ll never be a fan of these movies nor am I supposed to be. My sister loved the books and thought this film was way better than the first. They changed directors, writers and Dornan got into better shape for the sequel so at least they are trying to make them better. I think I can see the differences even if I don’t really care about these films in the slightest.


Bonus Features:

  • A Tease to Fifty Shades Freed
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Writing Darker
  • A Darker Direction
  • Dark Reunion
  • New Threats
  • The Masquerade
  • Intimate with Darker

Cast & Crew:

  • Dakota Johnson
  • Jamie Dornan
  • Bella Heathcote
  • Marcia Gay Harden
  • Kim Basinger
  • Eric Johnson

Recommended If You Like:

  • The Fifty Shades books/movies


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