John Caldwell Reviews: 50 Shades Darker
I wanted too badly to dislike this new edition to the 50 Shades trilogy, I wanted to find it crass, tacky, and a total cliché.
Try as I may, I couldn’t help but love this film and almost everything about it.
It kicks butt on the first film in every way.
The film is set just a short three weeks after the simple yet incredibly effective ending to 50 Shades of Gray where the lift doors smack shut signaling a bitter end to the contractual obligations (a.k.a. relationship to less messed up individuals) between Christian and Anastasia.
The minimal time delay seems unbelievable perhaps due to our long wait for the sequel but also the actor’s physical changes too.
Contributing to the lack of believability in the time lapse is how far Anastasia has come since we last saw her.
New job, new apartment and, much more comfortable in her own skin. Anastasia seems to be a new person! This type of reinvention is almost impossible just weeks after leaving what was effectively an abusive relationship.
In a turn of events it’s Christian who pursues Anastasia this time like some kind of wounded bird claiming that he has been miserable without her.
After seconds of resistance, Anna succumbs to Christian under his conditions that there is no contract, no rules, and no punishment. What’s left? I hear you shriek!
As quickly as Anna flipped on to the new union she “flips” (pardon the pun) on the no kink issue, only this time it’s her inquisitive mind that’s requesting the soft porn style of torture.
Without ruining the plot there is still plenty of kink and erotica but it’s all on her terms with Christian merely acting as a teacher to satisfy her curiosity.
The scenes are also far less confronting and much more creatively directed with the pleasure in Anna’s favor.
Believe it or not, unlike its predecessor, any kinkiness missing from this film is replaced by humour and its bloody funny right throughout.
There are some brilliant one liners that add so much depth to the characters, really building on their likeability.
Christian’s character is the big turnaround - even more charming, sexy and likeable than before.
In fact, he is downright adorable.
I have to disagree with so many comments around poor casting of Jamie Doran.
I feel he really owns the role this time around and brings so much swagger and charm to the character, he really is the perfect fit.
It also helps that we see more of his body this time and several glimpses of what just might be Hollywood’s best backside.
The story line is also a lot deeper than the first movie, delving further into Christians past and exploring what has made him 50 shades of messed up.
This also helps to humanise and make his character a lot more loveable.
There is also a lot of character development with the ensemble cast and the introduction of new ones. Kim Basinger plays the Villain perfectly.
The other stand out in this film is the incredible soundtrack, possibly the only movie soundtrack I have wanted to purchase since the Titanic (don’t judge).
The incredible soundtrack features music from Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift as well as Sia, Nicky Minaj and of course, Rita Ora who also features in the cast.
The epic music really does add to the drama of the film which typically soundtracks fail to do.
All in all, the film is a classic love story with close likeness to Pretty Woman but shrouded in drama and a good dose of comedy.
Personally, I loved it and surprised myself to say I am hanging out for the next one.
4 thumbs up