Plot: Anna (Dakota Johnson) has thrived since she dumped insecure billionaire Christian (Jamie Dornan), landing her dream job at a publisher and enjoying a break from his constant neediness. But of course, Christian stalks her once again and after he flashes some cash, she runs back and the couple decides to try one more time. This time, no rules or contracts, which makes Anna happy, but Christian is certain he can still control her in other ways. His intense jealousy drives him to purchase the company Anna works at, as well as forbidding her from going to a work related function, out of fear her boss will steal her affections. Anna dislikes this, but agrees to Christian’s demand, despite her previous insistence that she needed her own life. But can two insecure, desperate people manage to make a relationship work?
Entertainment Value: The first Fifty Shades movie was terrible, but it was so ridiculous, it was wildly entertaining at times. In this sequel, the fun is drained out and we get stuck in a loop with two insecure, delusional assholes. Christian is no longer a dom, but a sadist, except that he has no sadistic tendencies and Anna keeps his balls neatly placed in her purse. The movie does have a darker feel at times, but there’s no stakes, as any kind of tension is resolved within seconds. Christian’s helicopter crashes? Before a news report even ends, he is there and safe. A former lover shows up to kill Christian’s new girl? No problem, situation defused in mere seconds. The real darkness is within the relationship of Anna and Christian, as both are abusive and delusional people, just in very different ways. I admire the movie for making Anna just as abusive and twisted as Christian, but that’s the extent of my praise for this one. The sex is bland, the tone is overly serious with no stakes or depth, and in the end, Fifty Shades is a more dull take on Lifetime style relationship drama.
As this series is marketed on the sex angle, you might think this one is loaded with sleaze, but no such luck. The sex is toned down greatly from the original, which wasn’t all that risque to begin with. Johnson showcases her bare breasts and ass in a few scenes, but the sex scenes aren’t graphic in the least, so don’t expect boundary pushing or fetish focused content here. Dornan also shows his ass at times, but again, this is tame stuff and a small part of the movie. No blood. There’s no violence and the sex isn’t rough in the least, so it makes sense to have no bloodshed. The dialogue is still stupid, but is quite bland in most scenes and lacks the unintentional humor of the original, which is a real shame. But I still think the obvious lack of research leads to some hilarious moments, especially when Anna and Christian try to be sexy and seem like awkward virgins who have no idea what they’re talking about. Again, the lack of sexual knowledge in a movie driven by sexual dynamics is outlandish, but aside from the total lack of research, this one has little craziness to offer.
Overall Insanity: 1/10