Fifty Shades Darker            review Bobby Blakey

I will admit I was not a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey as I felt the entire film felt forced and was overall just really boring. When I saw the trailers for the sequel Fifty Shades of Darker it still didn’t do much for me, but it at least looked like they were offering up some more thriller like tones to it. Could this latest entry step up the game to this story to make it something worth checking out or will it suffer from the same missteps of the first film?

Fifty Shades Darker follows Christian and Ana who decide to rekindle their relationship, except this time there are no more rules or punishments. As they begin to get used to their newfound relationship, Christian's past begins to haunt Ana as Christian struggles with his innermost thoughts. I really tried to keep an open mind here, but once again this film failed to do much other than make me watch my watch for the ending. On the plus side Dakota Johnson seems a lot more comfortable this time around and now that she has stepped out of the homely look she is pretty sexy and in turn helps the film a bit. Her chemistry with Jamie Dornan is better this time, but the story surrounding them is just so bad it is hard to find anything there.

It takes literally just one conversation and a few minutes for them to jump right back into their relationship that she swore was over. From here the only real change is that they have less of the straight bondage control interactions and more straight forward sex. These are and should be the highlights to the film since that is the entire story it was working with. In the first film even these scenes were horribly boring, but in this unrated version they are actually more erotic and work. Sadly that is the only thing here that does. The promised intrigue with the jealous past and thriller like tones are literally just a quick in and out moment in the film that does nothing to help the film standout and ends up just being more of the same stuff from the first film.

I continue to be amazed that a film that’s focus is sex is so slow and uninspired. I was hoping this entry would change my mind on the franchise, but sadly it just cemented my existing thoughts. In the bigger picture it really doesn’t matter because this franchise has its fans who will likely love it either way. So if you were someone that loved the first film or the books then you will likely dig this one as well, but if you were hoping for something more than the first then you will likely be disappointed. This release includes both theatrical and unrated versions of the film as well as deleted scenes, featurettes and a sneak peek at the next chapter Fifty Shades Freed available now on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand from Universal Home Entertainment.   

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