Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is a sweet, tight-bodied virginal student, whose scrumptious, untouched body yearns and aches with every tempting desire that courses through every fiber of her being to be domineered like a good bitch should. When she interviews the wealthy and handsome entrepreneur, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), who immediately can’t take his eyes off her and longs for the day he gets to yank that naughty little girl by the hair and thrust away inside her pole hole like the steel-powered hammer that did John Henry in, causing her to shake and quiver as they both erupt to kingdom come in sheer orgasmic ecstasy…
Whoa… where am I? Oh, yeah.
When she interviews Mr. Grey, the attraction between them is instantaneous and electrifying. Those whip lashings on his tramp who’s just begging to be punished can’t come soon enough. But Ana soon learns that Christian’s only interested in a relationship built on his own controlling terms. As they embark on a torrid, intense affair so hot and sweaty and painful and dirty and nasty and filthy and pulsating and taboo it will drop every sexually-deprived, panties-soaked housewife to their knees, cause mountains to crumble and every body of water in the mother @#$!^%$#@!@&@%$^!!#% universe to boil like the flaming desires that burn away in their hearts, Mr. Grey introduces that ball-gagged dirty little slut to his dark and very particular tastes.
To hell with reviewing, I’m gonna start writing trashy novels.
True story – Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Twilight fan fiction.
Not that I have to convince you or anything, but I really wasn’t looking forward to this. I’ve never read any of the books and quite frankly a story that’s essentially Twilight, minus the vampires and werewolves, keep the whiny bitch, and then add 9 1/2 Weeks and Secretary sounds like literary dog shit. But I’m not reviewing the books; I’m reviewing the movie, and it’s possible that no movie this year will put my film critiquing objectivity through a rigorous test of faith more than Fifty Shades of Grey.
So there I stood in front of the doorway to the screening room. I felt exactly the same way Luke must’ve felt in The Empire Strikes Back as he hesitated before venturing into the Dark Side Cave Yoda instructed him to enter. Surely, beyond the door I would sense only fear and death. “I knew I should’ve brought a heavy duty poncho.”, I thought to myself as I figured sticking out like the Gorton’s Fisherman would’ve been worth evading the inevitable monsoon of raging hormones that would wash me away like a kid in the front row at a Shamu show.
There’s no escape here. No matter where you sit, every seat’s gonna be surrounded by a libido “Soak Zone”.
It’d be easy for me to just mindlessly bash this film, but there are two positives to be found here. For starters, this is a stylish and beautiful looking film, courtesy of established cinematographer Seamus McGarvey who sets an appealing mood and atmosphere fitting for an erotic romance.
The fact that the most seductive aspect of this film is the director of photography doesn’t bode well for a movie about kinky sex, but credit to whom credit is due.
Then there’s Dakota Johnson, daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, who manages to pull off a strong performance, despite all the laughable dialogue, drinking-game inevitable lip biting and emptiness of character she has to suffer through. Johnson isn’t what you’d call an earth-shattering drop dead gorgeous bombshell, but she does have a cute down-to-earth attractiveness that makes her well-cast for the wallflower virgin that is Anastasia Steele.
Granted, Johnson’s character is horribly written, but then again, so is every other character. She doesn’t seem to enjoy any of the domineering Christian gives her (that’s where a rape whistle comes in handy), which makes you wonder why she sees anything in this guy. Plus, you never really get a sense for what exactly it is that draws a young, smart, attractive girl with potential like Anastasia to a creep like Christian to begin with. It speaks volumes of the potential Johnson has as an actress that she’s able to translate all the negatives within her role into the shining point of the film.
Jamie Dornan, on the other hand, is a different story. When it comes to an erotic romance you can overlook laughable dialogue and a weak story. If your two romantic leads can’t connect with each other and share zero spark, then there goes your movie, and Johnson might as well have been acting opposite a brick wall. I get that Christian Grey’s supposed to be robotic and shutoff when it comes to committing to an actual relationship, but Kelly Marcel’s script (which ends with a cliffhanger so blatantly obvious it could’ve had “SEQUEL!!!!” blinking on the screen) only teases us with flimsy, tacked on backstory elements that do nothing to explain his behavior. As stiff and wooden as Dornan is throughout the entire movie, though, Marcel could’ve written a Grade-A psychological thesis on Grey’s dominance fetish, and he still would’ve delivered a flat performance.
Ultimately, though, what drags this movie down is just how boring it is. Marcel’s script offers no insight into what drives Ana and Christian toward each other, and Sam Taylor-Johnson’s direction is still in play-it-safe mode, even for an R-rated film that features more than it’s fair share of nudity and sex scenes. Dornan breaks out a whip every now and then, but the subject of BDSM doesn’t go any further than him spanking her. When the whips get set aside, Taylor-Johnson falls back on the usual routine checklist of romantic film cliches, despite this being about a man who refuses to get involved in a romance.
So this is pretty much a shitty Kate Hudson rom-com mashed up with a shitty Cinemax softcore porn show.
Fifty Shades of Grey is not without visual style and a performance from Dakota Johnson that guarantees she’ll get more promising (hopefully) offers. However, as talented as Johnson is, it doesn’t compensate for her character’s paper-thin depth, the terrible lack of chemistry between her and her onscreen partner Jamie Dornan, or the overall sense of tedium director Sam Taylor-Johnson brings to this dull, slow-paced snooze-fest. For a story that’s supposedly an erotic romance, this film has the sex appeal of a children’s hospital bombing.
I give Fifty Shades of Grey a D (★).