Let’s get two things out-of-the-way right here and now. I enjoy films over books and I’m of the male gender. You should now be able to conclude that I have never read the book Fifty Shades of Grey. You won’t find me criticizing changes from the book or comparing quality in this review. The only thing I’ve been exposed to is the what I’ve heard from friends and the frenzied fans who have turned the book into a staple of Pop Culture. I had formed an opinion of what to expect. A 9 1/2 Weeks ripoff with some Twilight style acting full of raunchy sex scenes to get the ladies hot. That’s not what I got at all, except for the Twilight caliber acting from one of the cast members.
That doesn’t mean I enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey. To be quite honest I found the film very slow with a lack of energy coming from the leads Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. Dornan is a handsome mediocre TV actor who can’t carry this feature film with all the hype surrounding it. The guy is stiff, flat and can’t make the messed up Grey come across as nothing more than a creepy abuser. Dakota Johnson brings some charm to the naive Anastasia who gets tangled in Grey’s private life, but can’t carry the film on her own. To put it plain and simple – the duo lacked chemistry which hurts a film so intimate as Fifty Shades of Grey.
We only see real emotion from the pair in the last five minutes of the film’s abrupt ending which will leave novices to Fifty Shades of Grey like me, puzzled. Another interesting amount of time is forty-five minutes. That’s how long it took for things to get naughty in Fifty Shades of Grey. For a book so associated with wild sex acts, I found the film to be quite tame. Sure, Dakota Johnson strolls around nude, but I’ve seen much worse in past films. Once again, the lack of chemistry is very apparent resulting in most of the sex scenes becoming awkward for the audience.
For all the hype that surrounded Fifty Shades of Grey being a racy film that will have the censors going crazy, the content is nothing shocking – dare I say dull. The movie is more of a character study that doesn’t get into anything that would really make it intriguing for the audience. I want to know more of why Christian Grey decided “the playroom” would be a good idea for his personal life. Also Sam Taylor-Johnson does a sloppy job directing which hurts the flow of the film. Why would the girls move to Seattle if they hadn’t graduated from college yet? Why would Christian shower Ana with gifts, but not replace her flip phone? Just poor follow through as a director which hurts Fifty Shades of Grey. I didn’t hate this movie like I thought I would, but it’s still not that good.
Overall, I give Fifty Shades of Grey 2 out of 4 stars.