First Hit: This film was 50 shades of boredom.
I didn’t read the books and I make it a point to not read books that may turn into a film. The experiences are very different and in the world of comparing things, it is generally a no win situation - either the book is better or the movie is better.
What was wrong with this film? No character development. The attempt to develop Christian Grey's (Jamie Dornan) character has him sitting on the edge of Anastasia Steele's (Dakota Johnson) bed and saying that he was raised by a crack head while Anastasia sleeps.
This is not character development. Anastasia saying she was a virgin and that she loved her stepfather is not history. Both of these items say something about the characters, but it isn’t enough to help the audience understand why they act and respond the way they do.
As the film progresses neither character evolves. Additionally, we know nothing as to how Grey makes his money. He seems to work very little because there are only a couple scenes where you think he’s suppose to be working. What you see is him telling someone on the other end of the line that what they are saying is unacceptable and to fix it. Was there chemistry between these lovers? I could sense Johnson doing a better job than Dornan in showing something, but Grey was virtually a desire-less slug.
The worst thing about this film, was that after about 45 minutes to an hour, I was looking around and away from the screen because I was bored stiff. I couldn’t wait until it ended.
Johnson was best in the first 30 minutes of the film, but she didn’t evolve very well. The only sign of growth was the scene of her sitting and negotiating the contact with Grey. Dornan was about as exciting as a doornail. He seemed stilted, out of place and without any depth whatsoever. There were other actors in this film but when the main characters are dull and lifeless, it takes someone doing something extraordinary to have me acknowledge it. Nothing in this film stood out. Kelly Marcel wrote a tired and lifeless screen play. The direction by Sam Taylor-Johnson was worse than the screenplay and acting because he got nothing out of any of those things.
Overall: Its funny that the first week out this film did phenomenal business and when we were in a very large theater a week after the opening, there were maybe a dozen people. It is falling fast and justly so.