Hot Take: The sex in The Space Between Us between two adults masquerading as 17 year olds was hotter. Hopefully, this series only has one more movie in its future.
Unless it is a movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, credits signal the right time to get up and go. With Fifty Shades Darker, the end credits song — “I Don’t Wanna Live” featuring Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik — was worth hanging around for. To be honest, the one thing these horrible Fifty Shades of Softcore Porn movies get right are soundtracks. Unfortunately, as the song finished, the credits were interrupted by a scene right out of a horror movie: The promise of yet another Fifty Shades film in 2018 (Fifty Shades Freed). They stuck a damn teaser trailer in the end credits for a movie that inexplicably will make millions.
I’d love to understand the Fifty Shades phenomenon. Having read excerpts from the book the film is based on, the dialogue of the movie, while completely awful in its own right, pales in comparison to its literary counterpart. While there are enough lines extrapolated from the content and there’s the occasionally laughable straightforward outburst (with “You’re not putting those in my butt” being my personal fave) and direct throwbacks to fan favorites (like both characters using “Kinky fuckery” in a sentence), the dialogue is nowhere near as laughable as the book. For those who find it serious or even sensual, though, I’d assume the same problem would exist as the films feel like a dulled version of the much sharper book (Sharper is used metaphorically and in no way applies the book is in any way, shaper or form mentally sharp).
The movie has a microwave quality about it. The plot moves lightening fast as a cheap excuse to get from one sex scene to the next. Seriously, does the audience care about the plot at all? Aren’t you just insulting them by wasting everyone’s time with these plot twists? Surely, you could find easier ways to get from one scene of two cardboard cut-outs getting naked with an audio track of moaning over contemporary pop hits, right? To be fair, I still really like Dakota Johnson. Unfortunately, the chemistry between Johnson and co-star James Dornan feels strained. There were rumors in the past that the two did not get along. Those rumors have been squashed. There’s no evidence of this on screen, though, as the two struggle to make a spark. If you’d like to see Johnson at her sexiest, check out last year’s A Bigger Splash. If you’d like to see Dornan at his sexiest, mute the movie and pause the scene on one that captures his impeccable physique. Most importantly, keep these two far apart.
Everyone in the film tries to break them up, too. Her boss (Eric Johnson), Christian Grey’s former dominant (Kim Basinger), some random psycho (Bella Heathcote) who probably went crazy because Christian beat her too hard during their sexual relationship. Well, everyone but Christian’s family who welcomes Anastasia wholeheartedly as she most likely makes Christian’s presence less insufferable and the only other way to do that is to have him take his shirt off which would be a fairly inappropriate request from family… even if it is step-family.
I get there’s an audience for this. I got it from the couple behind me who seemed to be moving more than the average moviegoer. I got it from the couple in front of me who somehow ended up with the girl sitting in the guy’s lap. I didn’t get it from the girl and guy in the front who went for two large popcorns (Didn’t anyone tell them they were refillable?) and left the movie academically discussing the plot points. Full disclosure: The guy had on an eclectic Stormtrooper shirt outing himself as both a Star Wars fan and someone who I’d peg as feeling it necessary to discuss every movie the way this pair was discussing the movie. That audience, however, is not this reviewer. It was better than Rings, though.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- That Taylor Swift & Zayn Malik Duet
It’s my favorite pop song right now. I was glad to see it nab the end credits after an abbreviated appearance early on in the movie.
- “You’re not putting those in my butt.”
Yup… it’s still funny.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Acting
- The Plot
- Sia, Again?
Is Sia on every soundtrack? Look, I like Sia. I really do. Does she have to be on every soundtrack, though?