I guess somebody has to review this movie, right?
In the first Fifty Shades of Grey, we meet Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) who falls for billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). He has a few unique needs and desires, so the entire first film was him teaching her the ways of dominance and submission, using punishment as a way to arouse. She didn’t like this and bounced. So this movie opens with Christian wanting to give up that lifestyle if it means keeping her. We then meet some new supporting characters that test their love for each other, including Anastasia’s predatory new boss (Eric Johnson), the woman responsible for Christian’s desires (Kim Basinger), and a mysterious ex-lover from his past (Bella Heathcote).
Let me start with this. I am clearly not the target demographic for movies like this. So take my opinion lightly.
This movie is really only good for one thing. Fantasy escapism. It’s like a movie equivalent of a bad soap opera, one that you just want to mindlessly take in and experience a few shock and awe twists and turns. It’s fantasy in the way that it portrays our two main characters. An average, somewhat boring, girl who manages to gain the attention of a handsome billionaire with a dark troubled past. She not only gets money but also fame and even a dream job, without trying for any of it. It’s absolute fantasy and in that regard, absolutely succeeds.
What doesn’t work?
Here are my critiques of this as a film.
First off, it’s relatively boring. Nothing substantial happens and whenever something starts to progress, there’s an extended sex sequence with horrible music. It reminded me of Suicide Squad in this regard, though not sex. It felt like disjointed music videos. At one point, they’re on a sailing boat for five minutes. Nothing happens. It’s slow and uneventful.
In terms of the script, it’s lazy. At one moment, there’s a helicopter sequence that is so jarring and ultimately unnecessary, that you feel like no one gave this script a second read. This series began as fan-fiction for Twilight and it absolutely still feels that way. The dialogue is cheesy and not at all realistic and the events of the story only serve to shock and manipulate your emotions, though not at all subtly.
The movie is also boring to look at. Set in a dreary Seattle, it doesn’t take advantage of any color of the Pacific Northwest, instead entirely gray and black. “But the title!” you scream at me through your computer. That doesn’t mean the movie should be boring to look at. The only color in the movie was the red of his sex room and the green trees during that weird helicopter sequence. It’s boring to look at.
As a movie, this is horrible. Its only function is escapism but it doesn’t even do that well. I can appreciate sappy romances and tearjerkers for what they are but this movie doesn’t even try. It’s a fantasy and if that’s what you want, you’ll find it here. I suspect most of you already know if you’d like this movie or not, so I don’t even know why you’re here. Maybe just to hear me trash this movie? It’s not good but that doesn’t mean some of you won’t like it. You know yourself better than I do.