Review: Fifty Shades of Grey is the Sharknado of softcore porn

Fifty Shades of Grey is set to be the most successful softcore porn film ever released - it is to that fairly dormant genre what the explosively popular Sharknado is to monster movies.

The transformation of perverted Twilight fan fiction into a shockingly viral novel into a big Hollywood production is a fascinating phenomenon, but it doesn't make for a good film.

The plot is this: a rich and desirable man meets an inconspicuous woman and the pair becomes romantically entangled. As their relationship develops, man introduces woman to his BDSM activities, coaxing her to become his submissive, an arrangement she gradually warms to. The end.

The much-hyped sex scenes are nothing special. People wanting to see a film in-cinema with this sort of content should have gone to Lars Von Trier's vastly superior Nymphomaniac when it was here last year.

Like Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey seems to be kind of a female version of the Transformers movies. It's occasionally aesthetically pleasing garbage but instead of Megan Fox or a Victoria's Secret model inexplicably falling for a ridiculously goofy male teen dork, it's a fantasy dreamboat man falling for a timid and unremarkable young lady, one whom audience members can easily project themselves onto.

What surprised me most with Fifty Shades of Grey is how funny it is, and I actually believe it's intentional humour. Some of the most ridiculed abuses of the English language from the books haven’t  made it into the film (apparently - I haven't read them as I was doing, er, anything else), but it's still filled with terribly cheesy lines. Verbally, it's constantly doing great big exaggerated winks at the audience, which is sometimes mildly enjoyable.

Jamie Dornan plays cold, emotionless, robotic man as something of a mix between Christian Bale's American Psycho and Arnold Scrwarzenegger's The Terminator. Dakota Johnson almost makes woman more interesting than she's probably supposed to be, but spoils it with incessant, distracting lip-biting.

It's unusual this film is being released globally to coincide with Valentine's Day when it aggressively beats any romance out of itself. And I don't just mean in the cold dialogue like when man says, "I don't make love. I f**k, hard."

The entire second act of the film is man pressuring woman into signing a contract that explicitly states what sexual activity will take place between them. Literally. I'm not using a metaphor, there's even a business meeting about it and all.

Then toward the end of the film, it tries to go all serious, the sex gets a bit more intense and whippy, and it all becomes painfully dreary. The playful humour dies out and the last 20 minutes or so really are a drag.

Mercifully, it suddenly ends prematurely in a very 'to be continued' fashion.

Fifty Shades of Grey is going to be massive and its fans are going to tell me I simply don't get it. And they're right.

I don't get it.

Two stars.

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     Fifty Shades of Grey
:: Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
:: Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan
:: Rating: R18 - Sex scenes & offensive language
:: Running Time: 125 minutes
:: Release Date: February 12, 2015

source: newshub archive