Does Fifty Shades Darker arouse your interest?
The sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey is also rated R and features—you guessed it—nudity, lots of nudity, graphic nudity, sex, sex and more sex, as well as an even more twisted plot.
In addition to having to deal with the enigmatic ways of the BDSM-obsessed Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), Anastasia "Ana" Steele (Dakota Johnson) also encounters some shady characters, such as her beau's jilted ex-lover Leila Williams, played by Bella Heathcote, and Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger), another one of his exes and the woman who made him the troubled man that he is.
Check out what five critics wrote about the film.
1. USA Today's Brian Truitt says Fifty Shades Darker "somehow manages to be worse than the stupefyingly bad Fifty Shades of Grey."
"Johnson still hasn't found the right role to showcase her skills because this surely isn't it," he says. "Dornan is quite talented—as anybody who's watched the British TV show The Fall can attest—but he inexplicably loses his mojo in these movies. Together? Well, any pair of fish lying next to each other at Seattle' famed Pike Place Markethave more chemistry."
2. Variety's Guy Lodge says Fifty Shades Darker "lacks its predecessor's surprising, feminine sass, but succeeds on its most superficial terms."
The actors, he says, "grin and bear it as best they can, which is to stay they valiantly don't grin much at all."
"So wonderful and resourceful in the first film, Johnson isn't given even the raw material to make an equivalent impression this time round, but maintains a beguilingly responsive, curious screen presence even through Anastasia's inscrutable shifts in consciousness," he writes. "Dornan, sporting an extra coat of stubble and, impossibly, even further evidence of gym hours than before, has even less to work with, but accepts his aesthetic obligations with good grace."
"We care not a lick for these beautiful people, nor for their future together, as teased in a glistening mini-trailer for next year's Fifty Shades Freed halfway through the closing credits," he adds. "Yet to find yourself rooting for their union purely because they're both so damn hot is to realize that Fifty Shades Darker has worked its shallow magic on you."
3. Newsday's Rafer Guzmán gives Fifty Shades Darker zero out of four stars and calls the movie "breathtakingly, pulse-poundingly bad" and "the year's first true cinematic travesty."
"From its dominant top to its submissive bottom, it's utterly ridiculous," he writes. "It might have been a hoot if its sexual politics and baseline morality weren't so objectionable."
"In this episode, mousy little Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson, still charming but ill-used) and multibusiness magnate Christian Grey (a dull Jamie Dornan) reunite on condition that he keep his bedroom kinks on lockdown," he says. "As for his controlling tendencies and stalker-style jealousy, Anastasia can't get enough of them."
4. The Age (Australia) writer Jake Wilson gives Fifty Shades Darker three out of five stars and says the movie is "a decided improvement over its predecessor."
Director James Foley "directs the sex scenes so the entire focus is on Anastasia's pleasure and excitement," he writes. "Her 'submission' occurs very much on her own terms, almost as if Christian were a personal trainer guiding her through a demanding new exercise regime."
"Foley maintains the 'classy' look of the first film—sleek, shadowy compositions defined by strong verticals, as in the signature image of the lights of Seattle viewed from the floor-to-ceiling windows of Christian's penthouse," he says. "But he injects a new kind of pulpy suspense, drawing on his background as a director of moody thrillers such as After Dark, My Sweet."
5. The Independent writer Geoffrey Macnab gives Fifty Shades Darker one out of five stars and calls the movie "a drippy romantic drama with a few mildly transgressive scenes."
"In the course of the movie, Christian undergoes a surprising transformation from troubled sexual sadist to conventional leading man, ready to go down on his bended knee for his beloved," he writes. "The downside is that he is duller as a personality at the end of the film than at the beginning."
"Fifty Shades Darker is an ordeal to watch not because of its gothic eroticism but because of its utter blandness," he adds. "The film would surely have benefited from being gaudier, more kitsch and transgressive. Instead, this is telenovela-style storytelling with predictable villains and far too much simpering mawkishness. The cliffhanger ending is very crude too. It looks as if all these characters will soon be back for more. Cue the inevitable puns about flogging dead horses."