So my Fifty Shades weekend has come to a head (no pun intended) with a viewing of the movie based on the literary phenomenon. I reviewed that yesterday, so now I feel I can adequately sink my teeth (no pun intended) into the film.
Fifty Shades Of Grey stars Dakota Johnson as the sweet and innocent Anastasia Steele, while Jamie Dornan takes on the role of Christian Grey, the messed up billionaire who falls for her and attempts to recruit her as a Submissive to his Dominant. I think the plot line is pretty well established, but let's just say there's a lot of lip biting, a lot of sex, and a lot of steely looks.
Well, I say there's a lot of that, because there is in the book, but it really didn't translate onto the screen all that well. Sure, there's sex, and more than you'd probably see in any other mainstream movie, but the rest certainly falls flat. The book is consistently portraying Ana's inner turmoil, represented by her cheesy "inner goddess" and "subconscious", but there's none of that here. In many ways that's a good thing, as I rolled my eyes any time they came up in the text (and as we all know, we shouldn't roll our eyes in the presence of Mr. Grey). But without that inner dialogue, without Ana's constant questioning of her actions and situations, the plot is even more bland than it was in the book.
Instead of Christian Grey being portrayed as a captivatingly sexy, yet almost dangerously obsessive man, we see Dakota Johnson pretty much agree to everything without hesitation, and all the stalker-like elements that are focused on in the book are just played off as romanticism. I never thought I'd be complaining that the movie doesn't adequately follow the awful points of the book, but here we are. Still, I'm not sure how they'd have pulled it off without it being ludicrous, so I guess in this game of give and take both versions come out about equal. Just equally awful.
But even some good performances can bring some worth out of a terrible script, right? Well, not really, but these performances aren't all that great anyway. Sure, the main couple certainly look the part, glimpses of nether regions and naughty bits of hair and all, but the acting is pretty wooden (no pun intended). Dornan's accent is less domineering and more of a weirdly accented mumble, and his steely gaze looks a lot like constipation. I guess that would explain why he's so grumpy all the time. Dakota Johnson does slightly better, actually pulling off some decent drunk acting, but the rest is pretty vanilla. Moans and tears abound, sure, but it never really drew me in. I suppose she did a pretty good job, as I don't think an actor exists who can turn myriad shades of red on command.
The pacing is all off too. At least in the book there are a few moments of reflection between pure carnality, but the movie tends to skip a lot of these and just leap from one sexy set piece to another, focusing more on the flesh of the characters than fleshing out the story.
I guess, in short, I can say I didn't enjoy this movie. It's a boring adaptation of a boring book, that leaves out a lot of the sillier parts but in doing so turns into a sex-filled husk devoid of any tension. Well, there's some tension, but not the kind I was after. Besides, the sex is pretty vanilla, which is certainly not what Mr. Grey would agree to. Even a bit more heat in the bedroom may have been a saving grace for me, but as it stands, Fifty Shades Of Grey left me Fifty Shades Of... well, bored. Just bored.
My rating: 1/5