Movie Review: Fifty Shades Darker (R21)
The sequel purports to be, as indicated in its title, darker. But that does not mean it is better.
For those who derived guilty pleasure from the 2015 erotic romance Fifty Shades Of Grey, this second encounter proves less than satisfying.
After breaking up over his BDSM inclinations, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) resumes her relationship with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) after he begs her to "re-negotiate terms" and they are as blissful as can be.
If the first movie was the film equivalent of red velvet, Darker is as vanilla as the couple's subsequent "normal" romance.
The sex is still good - kinkier, even - and every other scene is filled with gorgeous images, scenery and people. But much of the initial heat and conflict between the protagonists has been compromised.
And while darker aspects from Christian's past surface in the form of his ex-lover (Kim Basinger), former submissive (Bella Heathcote) and Ana's predatory new boss (Eric Johnson), these new players are given scant screen time to do much damage.