What I Thought of "Fifty Shades Darker"

I’ll be the first to admit that Fifty Shades is one of my many guilty pleasures. As an English major, I know a well-written story when I see one, and Fifty Shades isn’t one of them. But still, I can’t resist reading it when I need some entertainment (and not necessarily in the mommy porn sense). For me, it’s a bit of light reading, and I like it.

Upon finding out that the books were to become movies, I rolled my eyes. The series already isn’t that great—turning it into a movie will just make it worse. But Hollywood has to give the people what they want, and I can’t really think of any heterosexual female turning down a living, breathing Christian Grey (the 99.9% female audience reflects this).

Even though I expected disappointed (I, unfortunately, have grown accustomed to feeling this way towards almost all book-to-movie adaptations), I still bought my ticket and joined the other many excited women at the theatre on opening night of Fifty Shades of Grey. And just as expected, the movie was a disappointment.

But this article isn’t about the first movie—I think there’s a collective agreement that the “kinky f*ckery” just wasn’t there. Instead, I’m going to turn to the second installment, Fifty Shades Darker, which opened this past Friday, February 10th.

I’ll start by saying that this one was significantly better than the first. Although there wasn’t nearly as much sex, there were a lot of other great factors that made up for it. For example, this movie really focused on the growing relationship between Ana and Christian. There were quite a few moments where I was thinking, “AWWW!” The chemistry was a lot stronger, and as a result, the sexual acts were a lot less awkward. In fact, they were kind of hot. Even though there wasn’t much of the Red Room, there was still some kinkiness (where can I get a pair of those silver balls?).

We also really get to see both characters come to life, especially Christian. In the first movie, I was really disappointed by Jamie Dornan’s performance. He certainly looked the part, but he completely lacked any qualities of the Christian Grey I read about. However, in this movie, you get to see a glimpse of his dominant side, all the while seeing just how truly caring and vulnerable he is with the people he loves. I think Dornan did a really good job of showing these two contrasting side of the character.

I’m not sure how everyone else feels about Dakota Johnson, but I’m actually extremely impressed with her portrayal of Anastasia Steele. She’s funny, goofy, strong, SO sassy, and quite beautiful. She’s everything I pictured Ana to be in the books. And kudos to her for being able to film such intimate and sometimes incredibly awkward scenes with such class. Johnson won my heart from the beginning, but now that Dornan is finally beginning to grow in the role of Christian Grey, her performance is all the more strengthened.

When I don’t compare this movie to the book, I would rate it 7/10, mainly because I’m still waiting for Dornan to blow me away with his Christian Grey. For those of you who love Fifty, go see this one—it’s actually worth seeing. Also, the soundtrack is fantastic: I highly recommend it.

P.S. There’s a teaser scene for Fifty Shades Freed at the end of the credits, so make sure to hang tight in your seat!