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With Jim Sabatini

Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker
Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dorman, Eric Johnson, Kim Bassinger and Marcia Gay Harden

Rated: R for strong erotic sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: February 10, 2017 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

Fifty Shades Darker is soft core porn. 

With two attractive young performers (Dakota Johnson) and (Jamie Dorman), playing at sex we might expect some sparks to fly and a script filled with intrigue.  All we get is five or six naked scenes with the tiniest possible adhesive of a story between. 

Anastasia Steel and Christian Gray meet again just after the original film ended.  There is even talk about a wedding is this one. I guess their heir kids could be Steel Gray.  The romance if that is what director James Foley is aiming at begins again with a heated scene because the two cannot stay away from physical contact with each other.  Anastasia is even more willing to learn the ways of the sex toy room Christian has assembled.  But what are expected to be intimate scenes become bland rather than exciting.  They look more staged than sudden or extemporaneous.  Christian moves on her in more and differing ways using new tools of the trade but the performances are not effective. 

The hope in the mind of Christian's step mother Marcia Gay Harden, is that he has finally found someone who he can be in love with not just a woman he can be "Master" to.  But probably their romance is to hot not to cool down, as it is says in an old song. 

Marcia Gay Harden and Kim Bassinger are academy award winners who add to the quality of the production especially Bassinger who we learn was Christian's cougar teacher in the style of sexual activity he prefers.  Some tension is bound to build between the two woman before the film reaches its climax.  

Part of Christian's dark past comes home but it is quickly disposed of and has no real imprint on the story.  That could have been an interesting side story adding interest to the relationship of Anastasia and Christian.  Eric Johnson plays Jack, Anastasia's boss who has an interest in her and but it appears to be simply physical and he attempts to force her.  Christian's takes care of Jack but there is no notion of unwanted sex being a crime and certainly sexual abuse as defined in the law.  

Each little experience or discussion between the sex brings very little to the plot.  The obvious purpose of Fifty Shades Darker appears to expose the two good looking stars in love making and nothing else.  

But, watch for the path to the 3rd episode which exposes its self in the final scene. 

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Matt Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Fifty Shades Darker  C      D+   C-                  C- 

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