Review / ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ (MA) *

THE last time Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey saw each other was when she gave him the flick in Episode 1 of the semi-porn fantasy romance trilogy written by EL James.

In Episode 2, she’s now a reader in a publishing house. He’s now over the end of Episode 1 and wants her back, even on her terms.

Lying toad. He intends to be an emotional submissive on the surface while remaining a dominant beneath. She still pretends that she yearns for the man, not his wealth. She’s only pretending to be a sub. His house may contain all the expensive paraphernalia associated with being a dom, but he’s not smart enough to realise that, for her, there’s more to that than simply enduring pain.

At the end of Episode 2, she has agreed to marry him, the older woman Elena (Kim Basinger) who coached him in bedroom skills is promising doom for the marriage, his loving mom (Marcia Gay Harden) still believes that in his case, the sun actually does shine you know where.

Those bookends embrace 117 minutes of people to-ing and fro-ing their way through high life and sexual hi-jinks to a screenplay by Niall Leonard, whose wife is EL James.

As Ana, Dakota Johnson does not have the looks necessary to snare a squillionaire offering the body of an Adonis but little else. And neither she nor Jamie Dornan as Christian gets deeper into the actor’s craft beyond merely mouthing the dialogue.

There were six other people at the screening I watched. That says something, doesn’t it?

At all cinemas

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