Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Bella Heathcote, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Max Martini, Bruce Altman, Kim Basinger, Marcia Gay Harden, Andrew Airlie, Robinne Lee, Amy Price-Francis, Fay Masterson, Ryker Brown, Logan Brown, John Callander, Carmen Dollard, Ellen Ewusie, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Albert Nicholas, Stephan Miers
Production Company: Perfect World Pictures (Beijing), Universal Pictures
After the reception of 50 Shades of Grey, it was smart for director Sam Taylor-Johnson to get away from this franchise as far as possible. Whether it was an amicable decision or not, she’s better off moving along to other things. So, I have to wonder what type of incentives would have to be on the table for any other sane individual to take rein of this monstrosity. Multiple dump trucks of money, magical pills that make you grow stronger, or a free preview of heaven with VIP access possibly. Back on a serious note, there must be some love out there for the material, unless the staff is just looking for a paycheck. Going in still wanting to give the sequel a chance, the film started off as a competently made film. It picked up well where things left off, there appeared to be character growth, and I was slightly entertained. Though not at all surprising, out of nowhere the plot abandons all logic and reason and dives head first off of a cliff; insulting your intelligence with scenarios so separated from reality that Fred Flintstone reading me a bedtime story seems more realistic.
Anyone with a small level of common sense should know a story has to contain characters that are likeable. For some reason this entire production hasn’t grasped that concept. Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) decided to put her foot down in the closing moments of the last film, illustrating that she’s not going to put up with Christian Grey’s (Jamie Dornan) crap anymore. It was a noble action that made me respect her character more, but that’s all thrown away five minutes into this sequel. All Christian has to do is show up, begging and saying he wants her back, and all is forgiven. In reality, a vast majority of women want to be respected, and Anastasia ignores that notion by being as weak as a blade of grass. She didn’t make Christian work for it. She just bended to his will and pretended she was unsatisfied, when she’s actually confused. Christian hasn’t learned much either, letting his ego drive him around. Apparently being a billionaire can’t buy you brains, because he thinks it’s smart to take your new girlfriend to the sole woman that destroyed his psyche and taught him how to “fuck.” There’s no other worse idea imaginable. Then again, Anastasia goes with it, because the script writer is incompetent.
If you think that’s bad, sit tight, because it gets worse. These two are a horrible match for each other and are no way compatible. It’s as if they’re not fighting for the love of each other, but to win the competition. As if, if things don’t work out they can both say, “Arggh, I tried my hardest, won, and didn’t get taken advantage of.” They argue and bicker over things that shouldn’t matter more than them making love. That’s also another problem. To the public, it’s assumed that this franchise has kinky sex, but there’s no kinky sex. Just a little spanking of the hand in a bedroom and tying one down with ribbons. To some degree this is normal. That would be fine, but this is marketed as some fantasy filled excursion to tailor to your sexual desires through the lenses of someone else. Then when things start to pick up, instead of the bedroom action you want, Anastasia is moaning in an elevator filled to capacity. This is disgusting and disrespectful, but then again you’re supposed to like these people because the film tells you to.
The only thing new to this sequel are the multiple wrenches thrown into the plot that leave more loose ends than a shredded mop. There are times where countless displays of clichéd characters fill the screen, and you’re left nodding your head in shock. It’s as if they don’t even care. Anastasia’s boss is the perfect example of things being so far on the nose with his sexual harassing advances. It’s not realistic in any sense what so ever, and it is embarrassing to the writing team. Not to mention Christian’s random superman abilities that appear out of nowhere. This moron crashes a helicopter, nearly dying, and doesn’t go the hospital? WHAT THE FUCK?!?! He just shows up back at home with his head still bleeding, as if he slipped down the stairs.
I didn’t like 50 Shades of Grey in the slightest, and never would I imagine that the sequel would be worse. There are some aspects that are just unforgivable. If I spoiled a scene in the last paragraph, it doesn’t matter when you put your thinking cap on. This by far is one of the saddest displays on screen I’ve seen in a while. I want to see characters truly fight for love, with actions in the bedroom to spice things up. Instead we’re teased to medieval like sex chambers with toys I couldn’t have imagined that are never used. Instead of learning from their mistakes in the past everyone delivers the same troupes that ended the last relationship in shambles, but the audience is supposed to buy it. A better title for this film would be 50 Shades of Delusions.