Monday, February 5, 2018

Fifty Shades of Grey - Movie Review

Written by Shiggins

Fuck me.

With the release of the climax coming up, I thought it only made sense to release a review of the very first instalment of the series. That meant I actually had to watch it for the first time, strapped to the chair so I didn't run screaming from the room. Speaking of rooms, many went to see both these films because they keep expecting it to be a disaster like Tommy Wiseau's entire career. And now that I've watched it, I can safely say... it isn't.

And yet we're told that it's homosexuality that gets shoved in our faces...
The film is based on the book written by E.L James, in which an ordinary woman named Anastasia Steele (Jesus fucking Christ) meets a millionaire named Christian Grey and the two become romantically entangled. However, she quickly discovers he is a dominant and he can only properly get off through sadism, bondage and the like, and worries whether or not she can become a part of that lifestyle.

I suppose the first thing to talk about are the lead actors, since it is their chemistry and performances that have to drive this entire story which, as you can tell, is obviously meant to be more about characters than action. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are both very attractive people who definitely look the part, but their acting is not exactly strong. That is to say, I don't feel like they want to be with each other.

Weirdly enough, for a film with a female audience, it never shows the man's balls.
Funnily enough, there were several scenes where I felt like they didn't even want to be here at all. They both give off the impression they would rather be anywhere else, doing anything else, rather than perform in this film. As if they are telling themselves "Okay, just 30 minutes left to go. Hurry up, clock!" while pretending to love each other. They don't have the chemistry that this film needs, although the stilted writing is a major part of that.

Cliche after cliche, from playing the piano to protecting Anastasia from a sexually aggressive mate, you've seen it all before in both good and bad films. The plot really does feel like it is stretching itself out as wide as possible to fill up the timeslot, which I don't feel is anyone's fault. This is a book with a lot of internal monologue, and cutting that out has reduced the story by a major fraction. Behind-the-scenes drama with a determined E.L James supposedly prevented director Sam Taylor-Johnson from adding any scenes, so maybe that's why.

"I wrote a song for you. I call it... 'Please Ignore The Fact We're Obviously Twilight Fanfiction'."
But you don't care about any of that. You want to know about the sex! Hardcore sex with piss and vinegar and every whip, chain, collar, candle and whatever else being used to thrash about wildly, right? Nope!

In all honesty, the sex is surprisingly tame. Whether or not you actually like the book, we can all acknowledge it went into detail with the scenes. And since the film can't do that without having literal arrows appear to point at every piece of skin, they just aren't as sexual as they are intended to be. And all the sex scenes are basically the same anyway. A rope around wrists here, a blindfold there... But with no real understanding of what bondage-fans actually like, the film can't do much except believe it's tougher than it actually is.

I will bet you money right now, that if this final film does well then someone will try to make a spinoff film about this character. And it will be shit.
Earlier I said that this film is not our generation's The Room, and I stand by that. The Room was a disaster of direction, acting, writing, camera work, setting, props, clothing, sex scenes, hair and more. Everything about it was over the top and just plain awful, but that actually makes it almost beautiful to behold. 50 Shades of Grey on the other hand, is bland.

It's immediately clear that everyone involved is trying to make this work. Taylor-Johnson is doing a fine job, and I hope she gets a more dignified project in the future, with pretty shots of Seattle and Grey's office showing that there is at least some talent involved. Unfortunately, that's to the film's detriment because without the hilariously bad aspect, there is nothing left to enjoy. Nobody will be aroused. Nobody will laugh. Nobody will care.

Subtlety was never something I expected to see in this film anyway...
It's an eternal shame of humanity that this book is a best-seller, and this film is just another product created because of it. I cannot, for the life of me, understand how anyone could actually enjoy this. You can tell me you bought the book for a laugh, but E.L James is the one laughing in the end. All the way to the bank as you put money in her purse. I'm worried she thinks her work is actually competent, when there are countless books both new and old that will never get the recognition they deserve. The Edge Chronicles, Skullduggery Pleasant, The Left Hand of Darkness, Slammed... These are books you should check out.

Not this Twilight fanfiction that somehow got turned into a $40 million movie though. This is boring. I don't recommend it because it is just dull. I hate the book for so many reasons, from awful writing to awful characters to clear misunderstandings about what BDSM actually is, but the film is being seen as its own thing and in that regard, it's just nothing. Dull, unimaginative and lacking in every area, 50 Shades of Grey has barely any colour in it.

That song by Ellie Goulding is pretty tight though.

Film Rating: 3/10

Best Part: The shots of Seattle.

Worst Part: Dull sex scenes.

Best Performance: Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele.

And lastly, here are some actual quotes from the book that I wanted to include because we should all take a second to laugh at it. Either we laugh, or we cry:

"Because I'm fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia"

"I've kissed a prince, Mom. I hope it doesn't turn into a frog."

"He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string… what! And… a gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy fuck. Sweet mother of all… Jeez."

"My inner goddess is doing a triple axel dismount off the uneven bars, and abruptly my mouth is dry."

Finally I can walk away from this franchise...
Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page


  1. I always knew it would come to this

    1. I've had this date with destiny for a long time.

  2. Has there been a good satirical movie of this yet? That's usually the only upside of a movie such as this, all the easy shots you could take. I appreciate you recognition of Skullduggery Pleasent that's some good urban fantasy if it weren't for its very graphic and how studios have a borner for YA it probably be a perfect movie series.

    1. As far as I'm aware, the only known satirical movie of this is 50 Shades of Black. Which is meant to be crap. I guess because the movie is so boring, there is nothing to really satirise. On the plus side, there are plenty of satire books. My personal favourite is 50 Shelves of Grey, which takes extracts from classic books and "50 Shades" them.

      And yeeeees. Skullduggery Pleasant is about a girl teaming up with an Irish skeleton detective. WHY IS THAT NOT A MOVIE?!