Movie Reviews

Published on February 9th, 2017 | by gareth


50 Shades Darker

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) have returned in “50 Shades Darker” which looks to continue the massive success of the series.

Picking up shortly after the last film, the newly single Anastasia has begun working her dream job as an assistant in a Seattle publishing company. When she is reunited with Christian at a social event, he pleads with her to take him back and offers to redefine the terms of their relationship agreement.

Although cautions, she takes him back and despite telling him she wants to take it slow, the first of many sex scenes follow.

Although happy to be reunited, the pair are plagued by issues from Christian’s past as well as his own inner demons which constantly pull at them and threaten to undermine their new relationship.

Of course much if it is little more than thinly veiled lip service designed to get them into the bedroom time and time again so the camera can focus on their bodies and Christian resorting to his old ways with all manner of restraints and devices.

One would think that a film that is supposed to be so erotic would be far more exciting and titillating but the film’s sex scenes are so dull and by the numbers you will soon find yourself losing interest. A big part of this goes to the total lack of chemistry between the leads. If you thought it was strained in the first film it is pretty much non-existent this time out. The dialogue is also not much better as it is laughably bad in areas and unintentionally funny. The monotone delivery of the leads does not help much as it seems like there is a competition to see how many shots of the beautiful Seattle area and their bodies can be creamed into the film.

Kim Bassinger does bring the film a bit of intrigue as a woman from Christian’s past, but she is not in the film enough to really make that much of a difference as pretty much all of the supporting characters are paper thin and not given the chance to grow.

I did like the film more than I liked the original film, but I continue to struggle with the appeal of the film series. The leads lack any chemistry and supporters of the BDSM lifestyle have said the series does not portray their lifestyle accurately and that what Christian does is abusive.

I posted the question that how much appeal would the series have if Christian was a struggling musician living in a hovel who could not even afford a Starbucks run. He would be considered a deeply damaged individual who women would run from. But package him up as a young and attractive billionaire, and it seems that common sense goes out the window as far as the ladies in his life go, and he gets a pass on behaviors that would be totally unacceptable to most.

For me the lack of eroticism, chemistry between the leads, and a compelling story could be overlooked as despite the issues, it does entertain. But when the characters are so hard to like, I found myself not having much sympathy for any obstacles they encountered. My advice, wait for the video as there are far more erotic and entertaining films on Netflix.

2 stars out of 5



Second Review by Tracey Barrientos


Seattle’s most eligible and handsome bachelor is back again now trying to win Anastasia Steele back. The ending of Fifty Shades of Grey was exactly like the book. After an intense spanking session, Anna makes the decision to leave Christian and not return back. In Fifty Shades Darker we start right where we left off. Anastasia tries to move on with her life but is finding it difficult as anyone would. Christian wants her back and  proposes a promises to keep it as a “Vanilla” relationship and that he will try not get off on the pain that he inflicts. The two proceed with their romance only on a lighter note….well at first. Ana’s curiosity of the “red room” still lingers and entices her.


The film played out exactly how I imagined it would while I read the book years ago. Despite what others may think, I really liked the film. Perhaps it’s the fact that I am a woman and it’s focus is geared towards women. Many already disagree with me, however I was a fan of the book series and had high hopes. Yes my review of the first film left me on the fence weather I preferred the books over the films. Ok let’s face it folks; the writing to begin with is not all that great I get it. With that being said, the film does a better job of portraying what the story in the book was trying to deliver.

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson’s chemistry will never be on par as to what is expected. Audiences should already be aware of this from the first film. Somehow it was a little better between them but still not a perfect match and it will never be. I was not a huge fan of the first film but am of the second. It did what it was supposed to and that to me is exactly what matters. Men take your ladies to see this and I assure you they will be happy you did especially if they are already fans of the book. Happy Valentine’s Day!

3.5 out of 5!


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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