Eww, I'm back here again? Really? Alright...
What a world we live in where we can get not one, but two Fifty Shades sequels in our lifetime! Hooray for the human race. Because clearly after the first movie was ravenously seen by millions of sexually deprived housewives as the rest of humanity looked onward at how jaw droppingly awful the original Fifty Shades of Grey was and wept. I mean, when I say that Fant4stic was a better movie than Fifty Shades of Grey, you had to have messed up somewhere on the winding road of life. And now like a venereal disease, it's back again for another painful run.
I you couldn't understand from that first movie, I had no expectations for Fifty Shades Darker going in to it. I wasn't filled with rage at the fact that I had to go see it, but instead I wanted to see if the team could have made the transition from being an offensively bad movie into a hilariously awful one. I wanted to see this franchise reach the peak of Terribad that Twilight did before it.
And it kinda of did... then it swerved off into some weird directions... and now I just feel like I just saw through a bad soap opera.
I mean, it's better than the first movie, there's no doubt about that. I can actually say there's character development here and that the characters go through the simplest definitions of "arcs", but that's about it. It did the bare minimum to still be considered better than an abomination to mankind. It's not the plague, it's just Ebola.
Our story continues... some time after the first movie. I say some time because we never learn how long it's been between certain scenes, so for all we know it could have been a day, a week, a month, or a year that Christian Grey has been stalking Anastasia Steele. And yes, he's a stalker. He goes to an art gallery where pictures of her are on display, buys them all up, then says that he "doesn't like others oggling her." So, you know, like a stalker. But he's rich, so it's all okay. And then they get back into a relationship and we see how that pans out for about two hours.
That's really all there is to it. It's a repeat of the first movie, warts and all. Whereas the first movie made me rage into the night about how it doesn't understand BDSM culture, maybe I've just accepted that Fifty Shades Darker is a dumb movie that has no idea what it's trying to do. Lord knows I don't understand what it's trying to do. The movie is content with playing a constant cycle of Christian is an asshole, Anastasia rightly calls him out on it, he says or does something that's makes him even more of a dick, and she's won over by it. For Christ's sake, there's a scene in this movie where she nearly gets shot, and Christian turns the situation into a "ME" problem. Seriously, go jump off a cliff.
What Fifty Shades Darker has that its predecessor doesn't is subplots! Oh my lord, the subplots. There are so many subplots and characters introduced into this movie that I feel like I need a flowchart just to follow what's happening. Anastasia gets a job with an ass named Jack Hyde, Christian's mentor/abuser business partner shows up, Christian's psychotic ex sub shows up, workplace drama, kinky sex, and even marriage proposals all show up at one point in time during the movie. Every daytime soap opera drama rears its ugly head here, but they only pop up for about two minutes before fading off into the night. Remember that crazy ex sub that I mentioned? She follows Christian for one scene, shows up an hour later, and then is put into an insane asylum off screen. Drama!
And it's just moments like these throughout the entire movie. Things happen, but they never feel like they have any weight. They never feel like there's a purpose to their existence. These moments are simply there to make the characters do things that end in sex. Even then, I struggle to call the sex feature in this movie sex. They're longer than the first movie, sure, and you do get to see some goodies from both Christian and Anastasia, but there's no meat to it. You'll see a bit of humping, a bit of spanking, then BAM, cut to them sitting at dinner the next night... or maybe the same night because the transitions are so terrible in this movie.
I cannot stress to you enough how much the space time continuum is warped and destroyed over the course of this movie. In a good movie, you can relatively tell how long it's been since certain events happen. Maybe a title card will show up. Maybe you'll see characters sleeping. Maybe you'll hear a date, or a time, or know when a major event is about to happen. In Fifty Shades Darker, for all we know, their entire love story here takes place over the course of a week at most, and that's including breaking up and getting back together. By the time Christian asks Anastasia to move in with him, I gave up trying to think how long they've actually been together again in order to save myself some sanity.
And because it's a Fifty Shades movie, let's take out the misinterpretations of BDSM and abuse and replace them with an attempted rape scene and treating a mentally unstable person like a dog. Because, you know, that's what all of the ladies want to see, right? The main character nearly being raped by a creep then watching her boyfriend treat a dangerously psychotic woman like a pet? Why is this franchise popular again? I'm sorry for dwelling on so much on why this movie is just plain wrong, but... actually, I don't apologize, because as long as I can make sure none of you see this movie, then I did my job.
I will say though that Fifty Shades Darker contains one of the worst scenes I've ever seen in any major blockbuster in my life. I know that phrase gets thrown around a lot, but it's deathly true here. It is so hilarious awful that I dare not spoil it for you here, but it involves a plane crash and the image of Christian Grey running at mach 12 to Seattle. I will simply leave the rest to you imagination.