"Slick, Abhorrent Ad for Repulsive Sin"
What You Need To Know:
The plot developments in FIFTY SHADES DARKER are more interesting than the first movie. For example, Ana and Christian’s relationship has a more traditional romantic progression. This makes FIFTY SHADES DARKER more emotionally involving. That said, the movie is peppered with unintentionally funny moments. It also contains many gratuitous, pornographic sex scenes that add nothing or very little to the story. As such, they interrupt the movie’s narrative flow. Ultimately, FIFTY SHADES DARKER is a slick, but abhorrent and even silly, advertisement for sin and perversion.
(PaPaPa, RoRo, B, LLL, VV, SSS, NN, A, DD, MM) Very strong pagan worldview promoting sado-masochism mixed with some strong Romantic elements and light moral elements; about 22 obscenities (half or so are “f” words), four strong profanities, and 18 light profanities; some strong and sudden violence includes some sado-masochistic violence during sex scenes (such as woman asks man to spank her and he does and man handcuffs woman a couple times), jealous woman threatens another woman with a gun and fires it off, woman’s boss (one of two villains) pins her against a door in an attempted rape and forced seduction scene but she eventually hits him and kicks him in the groin to get away, woman tells his former submissive lover (who’s turned violent) to kneel and he pats her head to calm her down, helicopter engine has a small explosion with smoke and appears about to crash, troubled hero has a nightmare of his apparent father beating his mother and then coming to get him, and mention of an attempted suicide; several extreme and strong sex scenes includes sado-masochism, multiple scenes of depicted fornication, two or three scenes of depicted oral sex, woman asks man to spank her and he does, naked man lies on top of naked woman, use of a sex toy for stimulation, etc.; images of upper and rear female nudity and images of upper and rear male nudity, plus implied full nudity but genitals never shown; alcohol use; villain smokes in one scene and hero reveals his mother died of a drug overdose, after which he was adopted by a kindly nurse married to a rich man; and, jealousy, woman tries to come between the movie’s romantic hero and heroine, jealous older woman is rude to another woman, stalking but implicitly rebuked, and hero is very psychologically troubled but he admits it.
FIFTY SHADES DARKER is the continuation of a scandalous book trilogy about a wealthy, troubled sadist and the young woman who gets under his skin, wherein the couple is stalked by two jealous ex-lovers and the young woman’s jealous former boss. Despite a more traditional, more entertaining storyline, FIFTY SHADES DARKER is still a pornographic melodrama with some unintentionally funny moments and explicit gratuitous sex scenes that add nothing to the story. George Cukor and Douglas Sirk, who did classy melodramas during the Golden Age of Hollywood, are turning over in their graves.
The movie begins with Ana taking a new job at a Seattle publishing firm, working for the company’s star editor. Christian Grey, the wealthy sadist Ana rejected at the end of the first movie, tells her he wants her back. Ana agrees, but only on her own terms.
Ana’s renewed romance with Christian makes her boss, Jack, jealous. One night Jack tries to force her to make love to him, but she escapes and Jack is fired. With no one to take Jack’s place, Ana gets hired as his temporary replacement. Happily for her, she turns out to have more talent than Jack has.
Meanwhile, Ana’s relationship with Christian heats up. However, he’s still troubled by nightmares of his father beating up his mother, who died of a drug overdose. Also, one of his ex-lovers, a suicidal young woman, starts stalking Ana. In addition, the older woman who turned Christian into a sado-masochist gets jealous too. She thinks Ana and Christian’s relationship will only end in misery.
Can Ana and Christian’s growing love survive all these challenges?
The plot developments in FIFTY SHADES DARKER are more interesting than the first movie. For example, Ana and Christian’s relationship has a more traditional romantic progression to it. These things make the movie slightly more entertaining and involving than the first one.
That said, the movie is peppered with unintentionally funny lines. Also, some scenes are overly melodramatic, which also elicits unintentional laughter. These things are an example of bad writing and bad directing, which results in some bad acting. Finally, the movie contains many gratuitous, pornographic sex scenes that add nothing or very little to the story. As such, they greatly interrupt the movie’s narrative flow.
Ultimately, FIFTY SHADES DARKER is a slick, but abhorrent and even silly, advertisement for repulsive sexual sin and perversion. Although the heroine’s troubled romantic interest finally admits that the psychological problem standing in the way of their true happiness is that he’s too much of a sadist, she still succumbs (up to a point) to that loathsome part of his nature.
MOVIEGUIDE® strongly warns moviegoers to avoid FIFTY SHADES DARKER.