‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Isn’t Good, But it’s an Instant Camp Classic

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades of Grey was an unusual film because the behind the scenes struggles between director Sam Taylor-Johnson and author E.L. James, who is a producer on the movie, was noticeable on the screen. It was obvious that Taylor-Johnson wanted to craft a somewhat respectable love story while James wanted to remain true to her vision that she brought to her bestselling novels. Despite the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, Sam Taylor-Johnson would be removed as director and replaced by James Foley and James’ husband Niall Leonard would be handling scripting duties for Fifty Shades Darker. The only question that remained with Fifty Shades Darker is whether or not the sequel would embrace the tawdry absurdity of its source material and abandon any pretense of respectability. The answer is simple – a resounding yes. While Fifty Shades Darker is by no means a good movie, it’s a majestically stupid piece of exploitation filmmaking that entertains despite its ample flaws making it an instant camp classic.

Since we last saw her, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) has left billionaire playboy and BDSM enthusiast Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and started a new job at a publishing company working as the assistant to Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), the amiable fiction editor of this Seattle publisher. All it takes is one creepy gesture and some wretched dialogue over dinner before the passions reignite between Christian and Anastasia. “I want you back. I’d like to renegotiate,” Grey says to Steele. If you’re expecting the dialogue or plotting of the film to improve upon the opening scenes you’re bound to be disappointed. But if you simply embrace the awfulness on display you’re bound to be entertained.

For the most part, Fifty Shades Darker sheds the bondage and sadomasochism that was much of the first film’s selling point. This is more about the after effects of this fetishism, with Christian haunted by various past romances such as Elena (Kim Basinger), his former dominant that introduced him to the fetish, and Leila (Bella Heathcote), his former submissive who has been haunted by the absence of the hunky man’s whips and chains. But none of these aspects of the story actually approach anything resembling conflict but rather minor inconveniences for the two leading lovers. Don’t worry, though, because these random supporting roles at least pay off with ample scenes of unintentional humor.

The fact is that both of these movies are really quite inert dramatically because it can’t craft any sense of tension or stakes beyond Christian Grey’s unwillingness to engage in a conventional relationship. It’s a pure relationship fantasy of a man with dashing good look, a chiseled body, and infinite wealth. The only drawback is this complicated past that manifests itself in a fetish, all of which are hinted at more often than they’re shown. Whether it’s Leila’s obsession, the steely demeanor of Elena, or the dark side of Jack, these are elements of tension that aren’t explored in the slightest, merely a set of teases that will be resolved (or, hell, even escalated) in the next installment.

Of course, the main selling point for the Fifty Shades movies is the sex appeal, and there’s no shortage tawdry sex scenes where the lens of Foley gazes intimately upon the bodies of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan (or perhaps their body doubles). But just because there’s bare flesh and cheesy R&B music doesn’t necessarily mean that these scenes are in fact sexy as much they simply involve sex. Granted, these sex scenes don’t feel as strained and serious as in the first film, but there’s this silliness to everything in Fifty Shades Darker that undermines any attempts at eroticism. This is especially noticeable in a scene where Christian proceeds to fingerbang Anastasia in a crowded elevator. Van Morrison’s “Moondance” plays over the events for no discernable reason and Foley clumsily allows the scene to lose all of its sensual appeal with sloppy editing and a woeful line reading from Dornan.

But the saving grace of Fifty Shades Darker and what elevates it above its predecessor is the ample amount of campy humor to be found in the film. Perhaps James Foley and the cast were in on the joke, but if they were they never let on. The dialogue of the film lacks in wit and subtlety. The words are so blunt they could be used to assault someone. Thankfully, they’re all delivered with such a straight face that these meaningless and absurd combination of letters and words have no other effect than to induce ample amounts of laughter throughout.

The campy absurdity isn’t simply limited to the dialogue which included phrases like “kinky fuckery” but also to the situations the characters find themselves in and the incongruent resolutions. For example, there’s a moment where Christian Grey’s helicopter experiences trouble and crashes. The fate of the character lies in limbo for about a minute before it’s suddenly resolved in a manner that is entirely meaningless in the context of the film. The film’s emotional climax occurs within Christian’s childhood room; Christian and Anastasia share their feeling while a poster for The Chronicles of Riddick just hangs in the background begging for laughter. It’s impossible to tell if Fifty Shades Darker is a self-aware spoof or entirely serious, and therein lies the single greatest source of its entertainment value.

Fifty Shades of Grey was a boring movie that confused kink for drama while moving at a glacial pace without ever finding the balance between its absurdity and eroticism. Fifty Shades Darker isn’t that much better, but it’s simply better because it’s so damn campy that you can’t help but be enthralled by the baffling storytelling decisions and dialogue choices that run throughout all two hours of this ham-fisted attempt at respectable softcore porn. I expect come year’s end that leading authority on trash cinema, John Waters, will be singing the praises of Fifty Shades Darker because this either a brilliant piece of campy subversion or the most gloriously misguided movie in a long time. Either way, it’s a bad movie that greatly entertains.

 

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Explained Netflix
Netflix and Vox Team Up for Documentary Series ‘Explained,’ Explained

Vox started in 2014 as a website with an expressed goal...

Finish That Lumpia! – Lumpia With a Vengeance Trailer Drops

We’ve backed that Lumpia, joined the Lumpia Wrecking Machine, now it’s time to...

AKA Three Lives and Counting – Netflix Jessica Jones FYSee

Netflix presents Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 11 AKA Three...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Coffee Crisis Interview with C# Developer Nick Mann

Check out our Coffee Crisis Interview with C# Developer Nick Mann...

A World’s First by Worlds Adrift! – Launching on Early Access

Upcoming PC game, Worlds Adrift, is launching players into the sky...

First Major Hunt: Showdown Content Update Now Live On Steam

The first major Hunt: Showdown content update is now live on Steam and...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Action Comics No. 1000 gets a Super-Sized Deluxe Edition Release

From DC Comics – Burbank, CA – (April 30, 2018) –...

7.5/10
‘The Prisoner #1’ is an Intricate and Entertaining Tale of Intrigue

The Prisoner #1 Story by: Peter Milligan Art by: Colin Lorimer Coloring by: Joana...

Comic Legend Stan Lee Sued Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations by Massage Therapist

From Canyon PR – CHICAGO – Apr. 23, 2018 – Maria...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Work-Play Lens
High-Tech Meets High Fashion in GUNNAR Optiks New Work-Play Lens

GUNNAR Optiks partners with Publish to release new Work-Play Lens that...

Keep Your Gear from Not Feeling So Good – Infinity War Skins Review

Skinit goes for the head with their Avengers: Infinity War skins –...

Spring/Summer 2018: adidas Sports Updates Line of Mobile Accessories

April 2018 — adidas Sport launches collection of lightweight products designed to...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Showtime to Air ‘Bipolar Rock ‘N’ Roller’ Mauro Ranallo Doc on May 25th

From Bellator MMA and Showtime – New York – April 30,...

Bas Rutten Talks Kicking Opioid Addiction with the Help of Receptra CBD Oil

  One of the most decorated MMA champions and UFC Hall...

Roxy Astor Meets With GLOW…the Netflix Version

As much as people love drama, there was nothing but love...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Adult Continuity Issue #13 – Avengers XXX – A porn parody

I review AvengersXXX and make masturbation jokes. Be smart with your Fapdollar(tm);...

Comics on the can – Black Panther (Priest run) Issue #46

Comics on the can muses about Black Panther during Priest's legendary...

MissionFest Wine, Craft Beer and Food Festival Takes Place 4th of July Weekend

MissionFest™ Wine, Craft Beer, Food and Music Festivals, combines two great...

Event News Event Reviews
The Music Tastes Good Volume III Line Up Has Been Announced

Music Tastes Good Volume III, presented by 89.9 KCRW, Line Up has...

free comic book day
Free Manga from VIZ Media for Free Comic Book Day

TLDR: VIZ Media will provide free manga samplers on Free Comic...

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Escape Room Comes to America!

TLDR: CRAP Entertainment and Viz Media, LLC partnered with Real Escape...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...

%d bloggers like this: