Speaking on the red carpet, the movie's star Dakota Johnson denied that her character Anastasia Steele is a victim.
In "Fifty Shades Darker", director James Foley has chose to whip things up with some humor. He just wants to be with Ana. Taking on the Grey's wasn't the smartest thing she could have done.
That is something in very short supply in this movie.
Still, Taylor-Johnson's film is more psychological in nature as compared to Foley's, which would work in favor of actors Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, who to begin with don't have the chemistry to be an aspirational pair. But there's basically no tension, or even a story.
For most of the movie, Ana feels like someone is stalking her, and this eventually turns out to be true when Christian's ex-submissive, Leila (Bella Heathcote), confronts her in her apartment. He shot both Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed at the same and included way too much of the wooing between Christian and Ana and could have easily cut a good twenty minutes from the film.
Tednice Williams of East Hartford called the books "juicy, I can't put them down" and said she didn't expect either film to be as juicy as the book. (So bold!) Despite a rough upbringing alluded to in flashbacks and dreams, there's seemingly nothing Christian Grey can't walk away from unscathed, including a potentially fatal helicopter crash. That's exactly what audiences will get with "Fifty Shades Darker", twists, turns, answers and plenty of tension and wardrobe changes.
The reviews of Fifty Shades Darker are in and err, well. oh dear.
On the plus side, Darker is filled with eccentric touches that are least good for a few quizzical chuckles. (Christian can't cut a pepper for shit and, unlike when other men can't cut a pepper for shit, it's actually cute.) The sex (or "kinky fuckery") starts with Christian going down on Ana while she's standing up - he has skills - and ends with them in missionary position.
"You know how many dumb things I have heard from people who told me their pastor found out they were living together or having sex and then just said, 'Let me just marry you right now so you can stop living in sin.' DUMB", he said.
This pre-Valentine's Day weekend will test the power of the Fifty Shades franchise at the box office.