More sex! More adventure! More intrigue! Are you ready to go ‘FIFTY SHADES DARKER’?


Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in FIFTY SHADES DARKER. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

I’m still in the dark at why E.L. James’ FIFTY SHADES literary series (and I’m using that term very loosely here) inspired such a movement in this country. Welp, like it or not, it’s here to stay. A guilty pleasure to many, the trilogy was a juggernaut on the bestsellers list. It could practically be found on everyone’s nightstand. Heck, I even saw an adult male reading it on a cross-country flight. The cinematic adaptation also took in record numbers at the box office, cementing it as a literal “hot property,” despite the critical take-downs. It grossed a whopping $560 million worldwide. You just can’t argue with those numbers.

Now comes the anticipated sequel, FIFTY SHADES DARKER and it teases audiences with more hot sex, more intrigue and much, much more fantasy. Are you ready to indulge your darker sides, America?

Here’s the official synopsis:

When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance.  As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.

Listen, maybe it’s apathy or more out of morbid curiosity, but I’m still feeling a little invested in this franchise. While I’m sad that the female-drive behind the camera has been replaced by men, the fact they have a new director, James Foley, who’s done tremendous work on HOUSE OF CARDS, piques my interest immensely. I’m also interested what James’ hubby, DARKER’s screenwriter Niall Leonard has done adapting the book as the little tweaks to FIFTY SHADES OF GREY’s original material – ones that James had rows over – benefited the film immensely.

FIFTY SHADES DARKER opens on February 10, 2017.

About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.