“Franchise Retrospective: Fifty Shades of Grey”

Fifty Shades of Grey was perfect for fans of the book. It hardly deviates from the core principles of E.L. James’ novel. It’s soft core porn with a broken lead and a curious unseen love interest. If you aren’t a fan of the book, you’ll probably hate this movie and rightfully so. The dialogue is a bit corny, and the script leaves a lot to be desired.

For me the real star here is Sam-Taylor Johnson, the director. She manages to take a pretty bland script and make the film watchable with its visuals. It’s a very sleek look. The Seattle scenery is beautifully encapsulated. When there are quiet moments she turns them into mini music videos, which are enjoyable. It makes you kinda like the characters until they start talking again and you just end up rolling your eyes.

Those music videos almost trick you into liking the movie. It nearly worked on me. I believe that if the dialogue was even halfway decent people would eat this movie up. The audience would expand larger from just fans of the book to new fans that can enjoy the film for what it is. Don’t get me wrong, these films will crush the Valentine’s Day box office every year, but they could make way more money with a competent script.

The performance from Dakota Johnson is great. She portrays that vulnerability very well. While being vulnerable she doesn’t get swept up in the circumstances. Ana is very sure of herself and Johnson brings that to the forefront. Jamie Dornan does what he can as the troubled Christian Grey. When he’s not delivering moronic dialogue he can push through the decent lines at least. He gets some of the blame for critics, but that’s the furthest place the blame should be given.

50 shades isn’t as sexual as it should be. You get some racy stuff, but you’re going to this movie for the over the top sex stuff. You get some of the weird kinks but other than that it’s just two people going at it.

So what’s the verdict? Two decent performances and good direction can’t save a horrible script. The film just knocks you over with crappy dialogue. If you’re an innocent the sex scenes will really get you, but if you’ve been on the internet you’ll just sit there asking if that’s it. Watch the film on mute if anything.

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