The reviews of Fifty Shades Darker are in and err, well… oh dear.
While not everyone hated the sequel to 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey, the vast majority of critics were not impressed.
The New York Times said the film was “Fifty Shades Darker and only half as watchable” as its predecessor.
“What an incredibly, indelibly idiotic movie,” is how Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers summed it up in his 0.5-star review.
“Fifty Shades Darker is an ordeal to watch not because of its gothic eroticism but because of its utter blandness,” wrote The Independent‘s Geoffrey Macnab.
“When the inevitable spanking scene takes place, it is tongue in cheek (although not quite literally so).”
“Buff, bland, bonking machines are possessed of prodigious libido but bereft of personality,” The Daily Mirror‘s Chris Hunneysett wrote.
“If you want to watch a movie about a billionaire playboy with a penchant for darkness, inflicting violence and dressing up in masks, you’re far better off seeing The Lego Batman Movie.”
But Variety liked it a little more, writing: “For all its structural and psychological deficiencies, it’s hard not to enjoy Fifty Shades Darker on its own lusciously limited terms.”
“It sure ain’t boring,” observed Deadline‘s Pete Hammond, who also gave the film a more positive review.
“Best of all, like the first film, this one has a killer soundtrack that makes Fifty Shades Darker sound just as good as it looks.”
“There’s one significant problem with both Fifty Shades movies that’s impossible to ignore: [Jamie] Dornan is just a dud,” said Time‘s Stephanie Zacharek.
But, she adds: “It’s all fantasy, so what’s the harm? There isn’t any. And if millions of girls or guys go out to see Fifty Shades Darker with their friends for a giggle or two, then the world is a happier place.”
To be fair – we’re fairly confident everyone involved in making the film wasn’t pinning their hopes on critical praise.
Like the first film in the franchise, Fifty Shades Darker will still likely be a huge box office success.