Gisell Says FIFTY SHADES DARKER Is Flavorless, Vanilla Garbage.

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I’m going to start right off by admitting that I’ve read all of the books, and I wholeheartedly confess that I do have a sincere appreciation for smutty literature. I read these books back when they were first released and I hopped right onboard the Grey train, along with the majority of the female population. Romance novels are a pleasant diversion from reality, it’s all about sexual fantasy, love stories and using your imagination, even if the writing is bad, it’s a complete guilty pleasure you can relish in. I, of all people, completely understand. I’m saying this, because I know there’s going to be some angry women out there that will detest my review and say that I know nothing about romance novels or fantasy. I do. I’m the Queen of Trashy novels; there, I said it. When it comes to the darker side, I tend to wander and I’ve read everything from BDSM, Historical Romance, Vampire Romance, Young Adult, Captivity Romance, and even Anne Rice’s older Sleeping Beauty bondage books which were written under the pseudonym, A. N. Roquelaure. Ladies, there is some dark, fascinating filth out there, and Fifty Shades Darker isn’t it.


After the last film, Christian and Ana break up, and in this sequel, we find them both meeting up again, to “renegotiate” their relationship, while a person from Christian’s past begins to stalk Anastasia, whom is now a successful employee at a popular publishing firm working for a jerk boss named Jack. As Ana and Christian reconvene their relationship, we discover new truths in regards to Christian’s childhood, as him and Ana begin to finally take their relationship to the next level.

The biggest issue I’ve always had with these films is the casting of the lead roles. Years ago, before the first film was developed, when the news broke on who would play the leads, I knew immediately it was going to fail miserably. Any respectable actor or actress knows that taking a role like this is risky and could lead to career suicide. So, after hearing that more suitable actors were passing on these roles, while being fully aware of the financial success of the books, I kind of got the hint that whoever was going to be hired probably wasn’t going to be a good fit. So, we were given Jamie Dornan to play tall, Sex God, Christian Grey, who might as well be an elf. Don’t get me wrong, Jamie Dornan is talented and very attractive, but he’s a fairly lean, small guy. There’s no way in fiery hell that he’s going to be able to pin a woman down, and if you don’t believe me, go back and really watch his scenes again. There’s more power in Kim Basinger’s facelift than any bone in his body. Then there’s Dakota Johnson, whom returns as the innocent, girl next door, Anastasia Steele, who is Grey’s love interest and submissive. Dakota is the daughter of famous actors, Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. She’s a pretty girl, but not who I would ever picture in this role, and her acting is deplorable. This is a classic case of just having to admit that this film should’ve never been made. It should’ve been kept in its intended form, between our guilt-ridden fingers as we consumed it in secret and gossiped about it with our girlfriends.


These actors have zero chemistry and its story is just as juvenile in book-form, so as far as movie adaptations go, this does not transfer well onscreen at all. The editing, acting, and plot is an unforgivable mess. I couldn’t help but laugh at several moments. There is one scene in particular that had me stifling tears. When Ana and Christian are lying in bed after having sex, he asks her why she stayed a virgin for so long, and she basically says…wait for it…After reading the works of Austen and the Bronte sisters, she just never found someone exceptional enough. Are you kidding me? What did I just hear? The works of the Bronte’s and Jane Austen have proven to this brainless idiot that Christian Grey is the first man who lives up to the likes of Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff? We’re talking about a guy who has a sex playroom, sends cell phones and cars as gifts, and sleeps with old ladies. I’m just being honest here. I’ve seen better writing in straight up porn compared to this garbage, and more chemistry between a fork and a light socket than these two lifeless leads. I’m not trying to be harsh because I appreciate smut, but the books by itself, in my opinion, were never meant to be turned into films. They’re filled with pointless plots and unnecessary comical scenes to create conflict to keep the story interesting and the result is pure trash, and not the good kind. I can’t even be polite enough to proclaim that this should’ve been on Cinemax. It’s THAT bad.


I also want to bring up the fact that I’ve seen better masks at Party City versus the masks that were worn by these cast members during the Masquerade Ball scene. The black mask Dornan had to wear is so distracting that it looks like it’s not properly sized for his face. The Hamburglar could’ve wore it better, if Christian hadn’t stolen it from him first. There is also another ridiculous moment during the film, in which we see Christian’s helicopter spiraling in the sky, and that scene will go down in history as one of the worst action scenes that I’ve ever had the misfortune of witnessing. Apparently after the crash, Christian goes missing, and back at home his entire family, including Ana, is distraught. As they weep while watching the television, we hear the newscaster state that word is he has been found, and not even a second later, he walks through the front door, still looking perfect, besides a few obvious dirt smudges on his face. How did he get there so quickly? You’re telling me that your helicopter that you were piloting fell from the sky, with mounds of trees around, and you survived, unscathed? Not to mention, he basically pushes his family aside and they leave immediately in order to give him private playtime with Ana. You cannot possibly make a worse movie than this.


The sex scenes were also terrible, this dude shoves two silver balls up Ana’s lady bits, and all I kept thinking was, please start playing Jingle Bell Rock. That’s all I want from this movie right now. Then apparently, Ana gets spanked in the politest way possible by Christian, that I swear Jamie Dornan’s wife in real life must’ve been on set that day. It’s absolutely, undeniably absurd. These two actors are so rigid with one another in every single sex scene, it’s like they’re entirely void of really getting down and dirty; everyone is stiff and not in a good way. The contact comes off distant, even though they’re all over each other. Not to mention, Johnson might as well be faking an orgasm because her facial expressions during the steamiest scenes are wildly phony. Do yourselves a favor and rent Secretary (2002) which stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader; it’s a sexy, erotic rom-com and it’s Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, or watch STARZ successful historical romance, Outlander, which is also Fresh at 91% & 97%, for its first two seasons.


FINAL WORD:  Half StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star