By Steve Barlow (Trenton, FL)


Let me begin this movie review by first explaining how I came to find myself seated before this total Hollywood double dumpster fire titled Fifty Shades Darker. Believe it or not I happened to be on a date with an exceptionally beautiful woman, who evidently beyond being beautiful was a very sweet talker because as soon as we finished dinner she suggested we take in a movie.

Sitting in a darkened room beside this rather impressive female specimen sounded like a great idea to me so I agreed. Due to some memory problems on my iPhone I was having trouble reloading Fandango so we simply walked up to the ticket counter-old school style – to see what was playing.

I should also acknowledge prior to this review I did not see the first movie Fifty Shades of Grey of which this was a sequel. I do recall hearing a lot of discussion around the book and first movie- but by some act of God’s grace I had slipped through these first two waves of certain epic disaster on page and film. Thank you Baby Jesus.

However as my date and I, we will call her “Tiffany” studied the marquee it quickly became apparent we had two choices for our time slot.. Grey, or some movie about robot super heroes in another dimension. I attempted to romanticize how there are incalculable dimensions and states as theorized in quantum physics and the exciting and evolving new field of quantum computing. Whereas traditional computing operates on a binary system of 1 and 0, either “on” or “off” as the computing code but in quantum computing it is understood that infinite possibilities exist between “off” and “on” at any given moment in time, resulting in tons of possibilities in the same computing space. To which Tiffany replied to me and the now enthralled ticket clerk – “Two for Fifty Shades Darker please!”.

So there I sat in the theater as the opening scene of Fifty Shades Darker unfolds… the heroine (Ana?) of the story is apparently a receptionist/assistant to the boss of some sort of business, I think publishing, but I never could figure out exactly what type of business… which was indicative of this movie as a whole – completely, utterly plotless. Looking for a plot in this movie was about as fruitful for me as OJ looking for the real killer(s). Anyway in the opening scenes she seems to have somewhat of a normal job and upon arriving home from work finds a huge bouquet of flowers from Mr. Grey. Evidently Mr. Grey must have committed some wrongs in the previous movie and the flowers were for atonement and reconciliation.

As it turns out Grey (27) who has the physique of an Olympic athlete also happens to be a multi-billionaire. So obviously the flowers worked for him and he was back in like Flynn. He mentioned some promise of fewer rules and punishments but it didn’t matter. We are never told how Grey got in such good physical condition nor how he happened upon 10 billion dollars, he is never seen doing any physical work and in only one scene did he seem to have some sort of job. But alas almost nothing in this movie was “believable” – Not the least of which was – Why would a billionaire fall in love with this Ana chick? (She seemed to be absolutely the most boring woman on earth)

It was at this time that I made my first trip to the refreshment counter, where a few teenage boys were scooping popcorn and slinging Twizzlers. I stood there, alone in a daze just watching them work. Finally one of them realizing what was happening said, “You’re stuck here on a date in the Fifty Shades movie, huh?” I nodded my head. “How much longer do I have?” I asked. “Oh, it’s only been about 12 minutes, you have plenty to go!” They got a good laugh as I schlepped back into the theater. Upon returning to my seat I found Tiffany completely captivated in the movie, she was hanging on every word. “Thank goodness you made it back, they are about to attend a dinner ball,” said Tiffany. “Swell,” I replied.

The “dinner ball” turned out to be a masquerade ball (huge plot twist) which excited Tiffany even further. It was at this moment where I began to practice a secret technique which has been practiced by masters and passed down for generations. It takes great practice but basically the master detaches from the material world, first by shifting the mind to a steady state very similar to what an out of body experience would be. Where the mind becomes more of an observer of emotions and simply lets them pass by. I realized that only through the practice of higher functioning techniques would I ever hope to continue to endure the awful acting, storyline and total plotlessness of the situation. This same technique and skill set would prove beneficial should you ever find yourself being water boarded, subjected to electro-shock torture or on extended visits with your in-laws.

I was abruptly aroused from a state of near nirvana as Tiffany grabbed my arm in shock at what was occurring on the screen. I am not sure how much time had passed since the masquerade ball scene but apparently Mr. Grey was in a steep nose dive in one of his helicopters. To which my first thought was Thank you Baby Jesus this movie is about to be over! I watched with glee as the craft plummeted straight down into the tall timber of the Pacific Northwest. But… yep, you guessed it, our billionaire came out with a slight abrasion on the forehead.

I made two more trips to the snack bar, each time getting estimates on how much time was left in this awful movie. Not since world history class in 10th grade (Mrs. Barnes) had I ever seen time move so slow. It was like molasses in January.

I don’t really remember how the movie ended, I just remember holding back tears of joy as the first credits began to roll up the screen. I left the theater like a prisoner on release day after a long sentence. When I cleared the second set of doors they actually closed on Tiffany, I just happened to glance back and see her standing there glaring at me. It didn’t help the situation that I was all smiles at this point!

When we reached our cars Tiffany recapped all the scenes in the movie with great satisfaction and even mentioned to her great anticipation the series is a trilogy – so another would be out next year! It was at this point I finally just let it all go… I verbally desecrated the movie, actors, writer, plot, scenes, and then continued to denigrate ANYONE who would enjoy such a travesty to the humanities. I think it was at this time Tiffany and I realized we were just not right for each other. We said our goodbyes and disappeared into the night.

In short… do everything within your power to avoid this movie, at all cost.

Rating: 1/5



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