So let’s end Cheesy Romance Month 2 with one of the most talked about and controversial films of 2015 to date. Granted this is by far not a romantic comedy, but it sure as shit is cheesy in its badness so I feel like it can qualify for the theme. I have been told all week that I should not see Fifty Shades of Grey. For the first time in my critic career, people pleaded with me not to see this movie. It certainly was a strange change of pace to say the least. But I was not to be deterred! I forced myself through the movie and after watching it I have to say that this thing is the most boring and lackluster disappointments I have seen in a very long time.
I went into this movie thinking that it was going to be an absolute train wreck of bad. I was ready for the absolute worst! I was ready for the Battlefield Earth of the 2010’s. But instead of being bad beyond reason, it was just mind numbingly boring. I had to force myself to stay awake through this movie. Talk about completely unexpected! I can not see how anyone would want to see this movie, even those who liked the book. It truly is the cure to insomnia.
Fifty Shades of Grey is the abusive relationship between undergrad Ana Steele (Dakota Johnson) and young corporate executive Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). After her roommate Kate (Eloise Mumford) becomes ill and is unable to interview the executive for her student newspaper, Ana agrees to talk to the extravagant Grey. During the interview Grey shows a great interest in Ana and after a couple of advances that culminates in waking up in a hotel room after a drunken romp, Ana and Christian begin to date.
Christian shares with Ana that he has a fetish for some unconventional sex which includes a BDSM relationship, Ana being sexually naive is more than happy to go along with this. As the relationship continues Grey begins to shower Ana in gifts and increase his abusive nature which culminates during a dinner scene with Christian’s family. The remainder of the story follows Christian and Ana as Christian continues to become more abusive and Ana more distant to the relationship itself.
Dakota Johnson Carries this Entire Movie
Let it be known that Dakota Johnson is a damn good actress! She is far too good in fact for this movie! This woman took this movie, put it on her shoulders, and proceeded to carry this uninspired crap up the steepest incline of a hill that you can imagine. She is fantastic in her role as Ana Steele. She brings life to the character that could have easily been written off as a poor female lead. But Ana does feel three-dimensional, her reactions feel organic, and she full on carries Jamie Dornan through every scene those two are in (more on him later). This was a refreshing ray of light in what is by all means an uninspired film.
Jamie Dornan is Terrible
I can see why they got Jamie Dornan for this part. He did a decent job in Once Upon a Time as The Huntsman plus he can connect with the audience that would potentially like Fifty Shades of Grey. But he is absolutely terrible in this movie. Instead of playing this deranged psychopath that is a precursor to Patrick Bateman, Christian Grey only comes across as a bland love interest. There is very little fire or passion in any of his acting that is intricate to the role of a character like Grey. I’m expecting this guy to be extravagant and when he and Ana engage in their sexual escapades down right animalistic, entranced, and violent. Instead what we get is a guy who has no passion or energy in anything that he does.
There is only one scene where I felt that the Grey character could be any sort of abusive person is when Grey viciously charges at Ana. The look in Dornan’s eyes and his body position did give off a very violent expression. Beyond that he is about as intimidating as a box full of fluffy kittens.
If you actually wanted a sadistic, violent sociopath for your movie why not get someone who can play the part? Like Christian Bale for example. He was a great Patrick Bateman, he could have done wonders for this role. Instead we get the guy from Once Upon a Time trying his best to look intimidating with puppy dog eyes.
For a movie that is so controversial, you would think it has some balls. But nope, this movie is not flashy, eye-catching, or disturbing. It is boring! This movie can be the cure to insomnia. I was expecting some hardcore BDSM, extreme imagery, and some pretty violent shit that would make Joe D’Amato and Lucio Fulci blush. But instead what we got was a vapid romance that is only a couple of steps edgier than a Nicholas Sparks romance.
The one moment I thought the movie might get edgy was when Grey initially showed his extensive collection of BDSM whips and chains in this stereotypical red room to oppose the pretty white bedroom and even that was a huge disappointment. They should have just stayed in the white bedroom and had vanilla sex for all it was worth.
There is no sleaze, there is no controversy to speak. It is only edgy to some closet shut in who hasn’t experienced anything beyond lights off missionary position sex. I would not be complaining so much if the center piece of this movie was the vicious relationship between Grey and Ana. If you are going to go for this, you need to go for the gold or not at all and I can say with 100% certainty that this movie failed to bring the sleaze.
It Does Not Portray BDSM Relationships in a Correct and Proper Light
This has much more to do with the source material than the movie itself, but I do feel it needs to be a con to the movie all together. This movie does not portray the proper BDSM relationship. This has been covered so many times on the internet so I won’t harp on it for long. But nobody should walk away from this movie thinking that this is what a BDSM relationship is all about. BDSM relationships are based on trust, not abuse. Which is exactly what Christian Grey is, he is an abusive asshole in any version of the series and no one should walk away from this thinking that this is a safe relationship.
I want to blast this movie for being absolutely terrible, but I just can’t conjure up enough hate for it. This movie is boring, bland, dull, and not worth the energy to hate. Jamie Dornan is terrible in the role of Christian Grey, it is not well shot, it is poorly constructed, and it is a poor representation of a BDSM relationship.
The only saving grace of this film is Dakota Johnson who makes this movie way better than it deserves to be. Other than that, it isn’t worth the time to watch it.
Final Score 1/5
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more. Coming up this week will be Kingsmen: The Secret Service and the return of the Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth.