NOTE: Due to adult language, the review may be offensive to some readers.
Most movies ask that the audience suspend disbelief. “50 Shades of Grey” asks that they suspend logic – basic and/or otherwise.
“50 Shades of Grey” is adapted from a book (written by EL James) which was adapted from a fan-fiction which was influenced by “Twilight.” I’m very familiar with fan-fictions; and quite frankly, the dialogue has the same sense of rhythm as most of them – which is none. You know that the dialogue in a drama is bad when the audience laughs as the result of lines like “I don’t make love. I fuck… hard.”
“50 Shades of Grey” is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson whose only other feature was “Nowhere Boy,” a film about the boyhood of Beatle John Lennon. “Nowhere Boy” was a good movie; there’s no doubt about that. Sam Taylor-Johnson just wasn’t the right director for this film. When a source material like “50 Shades” is available to adapt, one would imagine a good director stylizing it and making it their own. I would like to imagine a world where David Fincher (“Gone Girl” and “Fight Club”) took on the project. He would have given the material a polish and put his unique style to good use. Unfortunately, I cannot live in that world because it does not exist. But I digress.
It is hard to ignore, “50 Shades” became popular because of the sex. It’s a story about a girl named Anastasia Steele – I want that name to sink in a little bit – who has amounts of sex that are malapropos. You would think that Taylor-Johnson would have had a field day shooting the sex scenes. Yet again this is not the case. They were some of the most boringly shot scenes I have ever seen projected onto a screen. The scenes were sexy — if the lowest level of sexy is to stimulate the images of intercourse in a scene – but they weren’t steamy. Should have they been steamy? Of course they should have! This is “50 Shades of Grey” not “Kicking and Screaming” – which would be an appropriately accurate review of the movie if it were to be any other media besides print. They were also very toned down considering what is described in the book.
Playing the not-at-all-idiotically-named Anastasia Steele is Dakota Johnson. She gave it a good effort, that isn’t to say that it was a good performance. Some credit is due for Johnson because her co-star, Jamie Dornan, had the acting ability of a gym sock on a hand. The Irishman’s fake American accent sounds too much like Don Pardo for it to be even considered remotely sexy. The two actors only had chemistry because we were told that they would.
Ladies, head my advice: if a guy takes you to see this movie on a date, at least he has a sense of humor, but you should most certainly avoid him at all costs afterwards. If a guy takes you out to see “Kingsman” then he is most certainly the one because he will have some respect for your gender.