Bit of a late entry with this one, isn’t it? It’s probably still playing in theaters in some places and it’s already coming out on home media later this week. The heck with it, I’m reviewing it anyway. It was the first movie of 2015 that I saw in theaters, I saw it on Valentine’s Day because I had nothing to do and I wanted a good laugh, and I didn’t see another movie in theaters until Avengers 2, which I’ll get to at some point. I’m also amazed that since it came out, right now it’s one of the highest-grossing films of the year and broke records.
Before the review, let me address something that a lot of people got riled up over regarding this movie: the controversy surrounding it. A lot of people cried foul over how it glorifies sexual abuse, violence against women, and rape. I’m a guy, and I know my opinion is going to be considered invalid by a lot of people who read this review, but I’m just saying my piece and that’s it. I don’t really think the movie is doing that, because of the material itself. The movie is based on a book that was originally created as TWILIGHT FAN FICTION, and while Twilight kinda did glorify the “stalker love story” in which a woman falls in love with a creepy guy who stares at her and stalks her, in 50 Shades it’s just taking it to a more extreme level, that which being there’s just more sex and other weird stuff. Twilight and 50 Shades are really just about idiots who fall in love and do really stupid things, just on different levels. If anything, 50 Shades just glorifies that as long as the guy is pretty, has money, and is great in the sack, any bad thing he does is instantly okay, and actual nice guys who do care about the girl and would do anything for them…screw them, right? Plus, 50 Shades has been turned into numerous porno parodies, a friggin musical, and even gray teddy bears dressed in suits, where are the people crying foul over those? Such a weird world we live in, isn’t it? [Sarcastic laugh]
Anyway, the movie is pretty much the same as the book, and yes I did read the book, mostly out of curiosity to see what all the fuss was about. It had plenty of weird and funny moments, but in the end it just turned out to be something that took up time. I’m already on the second book and it’s even worse, with the characters not even going half a page without needless sex. The movie tries to open itself up like its The Social Network, with the white font opening credits, the camera panning in and out to capture everything on screen with the main central character kinda minimized yet following her and getting up close, and the music having a nice gradual pace to build up the encounter with the characters and setting the tone for the movie onward. The direction and camerawork are actually pretty spot-on throughout the whole movie, keeping at a pretty even pace and clearly visible, not shot like some weird fetishy dirty-greasy-grimy music video (though if Michael Bay did this movie, that probably would’ve been the case).
The story is just like that in the book, in that it’s so-bad-it’s-good, pretty forgettable, and just something that takes up time yet if you got nothing to do, then watch it out of curiosity. However, the movie itself is pretty self-aware that it’s based on a crap story. It’s obvious the actors are trying hard not to laugh at the lines they deliver, but the end result is filled with a wit that’s kinda enjoyable in a stupidly comedic way. Me and the people in the theater (oh yes, there were A LOT of people in the theater, mostly couples, and thankfully no messes, if you get what I mean), couldn’t help but laugh at almost every moment that something stupidly funny comes up.
And then of course there are the sex scenes, the very meat of what makes those who like 50 Shades swoon over it. It’s pretty tame. The book had pretty explicit sex scenes, and with the movie having an R-rating and being released everywhere, I was wondering how they’d be handled, but seeing how there’s gonna be an unrated dvd/blu-ray, those scenes will probably be given the “treatment” they deserve, I guess. I actually kinda thought that this movie would be something on par with Basic Instinct, Showgirls, and even Caligula, in regards to the sex and whatnot, but the sex scenes just come and go (no pun intended…maybe) and as far as it goes, it’s just Dakota Johnson naked, a shot of Jamie Dornan’s butt, and thrusting here or there. Hell, Skinemax is more erotic by comparison. Even the more kinkier stuff and the bondage feel kinda glossed over, a mere footnote in the movie’s 2 hour and 5 minute running time.
50 Shades of Grey is really just about two people who get into a weird relationship, do all kinds of weird sex things, and then just simply ends with them seemingly breaking up but making it obvious they still care for each other in their own messed-up way and will probably get back together again and do more kinky shenanigans in the inevitable sequels. Is it worth watching? If you got nothing better to do, looking for a good laugh, or if you’re in a relationship and one or both of you has some morbid curiosity just for the sake of doing something together, then go ahead and see it. But are you curious enough? I know I was curious just to get a good laugh and eventually rant about it on the internet, I can tell you that.