One Shade, Fifty Times
Review by Sam Lehman
Fifty Shades of Grey is a disappointing romance that goes nowhere, as plot threads are left dangling, with a story that manages to be less steamy and explicit than a single sexposition scene from Game of Thrones. Its strengths are in its two leads, who commit to their roles as dominant and submissive in an erotic entanglement. The direction, too, is competent – sometimes verging on slick. But let’s not beat around the bush – this is Twilight for an older audience. The story, which should be sensual, exciting and with an air of danger, is decidedly dull, with a runtime that’s 20 minutes too long and a repetitive ‘sex-drama-sex’ structure that lends itself to a predictable story that doesn’t so much end as it simply stops. It’s a disappointing conclusion to a morally bankrupt script.
There’s little surprising beneath the surface here, and for all the hoopla it certainly doesn’t push boundaries in adult entertainment. The reality is we’ve seen Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey fifty times before, and we know how their story will end (even if it doesn’t end this time). The BDSM is certainly different for cinemas, but it’s not tackled in a challenging or creative way. It’s not even particularly naughty – just boring, which may be the biggest sin for a movie based on one of the world’s most successful erotic romance novels. Wait for the bargain bin if you’re really desperate, as Fifty Shades of Grey is all grey and no colour. 2 stars.
Don’t Take Your Mother
Review by Nic Schirmer
Once I managed through the immature giggles and overly mature cackles that was the audience, Fifty Shades of Grey was actually alright! Although Sesame Street has more scope for a storyline, the filmmakers have stayed true to the unnecessarily repetitive novel while creating an all-round enjoyable movie.
Don’t walk in expecting a love story and certainly don’t walk in expecting late night SBS. It hits neither of these marks. I cannot fault the movie for this however, given its source material was the same. Visually, I found it enjoyable and refreshing without ridiculous product placement. Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) were perfectly cast as their characters and matched my personal expectations from having read the novels. The remaining cast could not be faulted, despite not having much screen time.
Good luck ladies trying to get your blokes to attend this movie, as it’s something to see with your girlfriends. And even though you may have borrowed and shared the novels with other important women in your life – don’t go with your mother! 3.5 bites of the burger.
Combo ratings average the individual scores (rounded up)