Fifty Shades Darker (Subtitled) (18)

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Drama (2017)
118mins US

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Kim Basinger, Eric Johnson, Bella Heathcote
Director: James Foley
Writer(s): Niall Leonard
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Anastasia has tried to turn her back on Christian and she throws herself into her work as a personal assistant to magazine editor Jack Hyde. He makes clear his desire for Ana but she continually rebuffs his advances. At a gallery launch, Ana crosses paths with Christian and he insists he wants her back. He also reveals he has business ties to the publishing company Ana works for, creating an uncomfortable conflict of interest.

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LondonNet Film Review
Fifty Shades Darker (18)

After the polite slap of Fifty Shades Of Grey comes the unintentionally hilarious tickle of a softcore sequel, dredged from the frothy melodrama of E.L. James' literary threesome. Pantomime villainy bumps and grinds against clunky plotting and a miasma of softly lit sex scenes devoid of any erotic charge despite the wanton lip-biting of actress Dakota Johnson. While the first film flaunted its fake feminist credentials with director Sam Taylor-Johnson wielding the riding crop and screenwriter Kelly Marcel tightening the Red Room's leather straps, Fifty Shades Darker is dominated by men. James Foley slips back in the director's harness after a 10-year hiatus, alongside author James' husband, Niall Leonard, who assumes the screenwriter's position and tightly handcuffs himself to the source material...

Fifty Shades Darker. Copyright: Universal Pictures. Caption: Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Darker. All Rights Reserved.Tellingly, the sequel's best moment is secondhand - a cute word-for-word tribute to Johnson's mother, Melanie Griffith, and her Oscar-nominated role in Working Girl. Pounding music underscores the orgy of luxury product placements - seductive stemware, sheen designer dresses - and every breathless coupling. Ana forgoes another knee-trembling ride on Christian's chopper and boards his yacht instead to the high-pitched whimpers of Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik professing, "Baby, baby, I feel crazy!" It's a wild exaggeration. The sequel isn't a single shade darker, grimier or indeed sexier, let alone 50.

Anastasia (Johnson) has turned her back on Seattle's youngest billionaire, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), to clamber the career ladder under leering fiction editor, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson). It's not long before crestfallen Christian pleads his case. "I want to renegotiate terms," he growls. With the minimum resistance, Ana agrees. "No rules, no punishments... and no more secrets," she purrs naively. Soon after, at a masquerade ball hosted by Christian's parents (Andrew Airlie, Marcia Gay Harden), Ana has her first run-in with Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger), the woman who seduced Christian aged 15. Meanwhile, Ana's boss Jack turns out to be a glowering poster boy for sexual harassment and one of Christian's former submissives (Bella Heathcote) stalks her former master.

Fifty Shades Darker begs tantalising questions. How many cans of furniture polish does Christian's housekeeper Mr Jones (Fay Masterson) get through each day to maintain that dust and streak-free shine on every surface in his cavernous apartment? How does the brooding hero emerge from a high-speed brush with death without a scratch or bruise on that perfectly stubbled face? The interplay between dominant and submissive is still muddled and Ana's contradictory nature tests our patience. In one breath, she scolds Christian for his possessiveness ("This isn't a relationship, it's ownership") and in the next, she's pleading with him to dust off his toys. Only one sequence involving jiggle balls delivers pleasure to us and her. A 10-second fake orgasm of scenes from the giddy climax, Fifty Shades Freed, during the end credits is like everything else: a big tease.

- Kim Hu

Fifty Shades Darker. Copyright: Universal Pictures. Caption: Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Darker. All Rights Reserved.

London Cinemas

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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 17th February
To Thursday 23rd February

- Antrim, Antrim Omniplex
- Armagh, Armagh Omniplex
- Bangor, Bangor Omniplex
- Barnstaple, Central Cinema
- Bath, Odeon Bath
- Belfast, Odeon Belfast
- Birmingham, Empire Birmingham Great Park
- Birmingham, Everyman Birmingham
- Bishop's Stortford, Empire Bishop's Stortford
- Blackpool, Odeon Blackpool
- Bootle, Odeon Liverpool Switch Island
- Borehamwood, Reel Cinema Borehamwood
- Bradford, Odeon Leeds-Bradford
- Bridgend, Odeon Bridgend
- Bridgnorth, Reel Cinema Bridgnorth
- Bridgwater, Scott Cinemas
- Brighton, Odeon Brighton
- Bristol, Orpheus Henleaze
- Bristol, Showcase Bristol Avon Meads
- Bristol, Showcase Bristol Cinema De Lux
- Burnley, Reel Cinema Burnley
- Cardiff, Odeon Cardiff
- Carlow, Carlow Omniplex
- Carrickfergus, Carrickfergus Omniplex
- Catterick Garrison, Empire Catterick Garrison
- Cavan Town, Odeon Cavan
- Chippenham, Reel Cinema Chippenham
- Clydebank, Empire Clydebank
- Cork, Cork Omniplex
- Coventry, Odeon Coventry
- Craigavon, Craigavon Omniplex
- Darlington, Odeon Darlington
- Derby, Odeon Derby
- Derby, Showcase Derby Cinema De Lux
- Dorchester, Odeon Dorchester
- Dublin, Balbriggan Omniplex
- Dublin, Dublin Rathmines Omniplex
- Dublin, Odeon Charlestown
- Dublin, Odeon Coolock
- Dublin, Odeon Point Village
- Dundee, Odeon Dundee
- Dunfermline, Odeon Dunfermline
- East Grinstead, Scott Cinemas
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Lothian Road
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Wester Hailes
- Epsom, Odeon Epsom
- Exeter, Odeon Exeter
- Exmouth, Savoy
- Fareham, Reel Cinema Fareham
- Gateshead, Odeon Metrocentre
- Glasgow, Showcase Glasgow
- Grantham, Reel Cinema Grantham
- Guildford, Odeon Guildford
- Hastings, Odeon Hastings
- Hereford, Odeon Hereford
- High Wycombe, Empire High Wycombe
- Huddersfield, Odeon Huddersfield
- Hull, Odeon Hull
- Hull, Reel Cinema Hull
- Kidderminster, Reel Cinema Kidderminster
- Larne, Larne Harbour Omniplex
- Leeds, Everyman Leeds
- Leicester, Odeon Leicester
- Leicester, Showcase Leicester Cinema De Lux
- Limerick, Limerick Omniplex
- Lincoln, Odeon Lincoln
- Lisburn, Lisburn Omniplex
- Liverpool, Odeon Liverpool ONE
- Llanelli, Odeon Llanelli
- Londonderry, Derry Omniplex
- Maidstone, Odeon Maidstone
- Manchester, Odeon Manchester
- Manchester, Odeon Trafford Centre
- Mansfield, Odeon Mansfield
- Morecambe, Reel Cinema Morecambe
- Newark, Odeon Newark
- Newcastle upon Tyne, Empire Newcastle Upon Tyne
- Newton Abbot, Alexandra Cinema
- Orpington, Odeon Orpington
- Paisley, Showcase Paisley
- Peterborough, Showcase Peterborough
- Plymouth, Reel Cinema Plymouth
- Portsmouth, Odeon Port Solent
- Port Talbot, Reel Cinema Port Talbot
- Preston, Odeon Preston
- Quinton Halesowen, Reel Cinema Quinton Halesowen
- Salisbury, Odeon Salisbury
- Sheffield, Odeon Sheffield
- Slough, Empire Slough
- Southampton, Odeon Southampton
- Southend-on-Sea, Odeon Southend
- Stoke-on-Trent, Odeon Stoke
- Swadlincote, Odeon Swadlincote
- Swansea, Odeon Swansea
- Swindon, Empire Swindon Greenbridge
- Tamworth, Odeon Tamworth
- Telford, Odeon Telford
- Tralee, Tralee Omniplex
- Trowbridge, Odeon Trowbridge
- Tunbridge Wells, Odeon Tunbridge Wells
- Wallsend, Odeon Silverlink
- Walsall, The Light Cinema, Walsall
- Walthamstow, Empire Walthamstow
- Warrington, Odeon Warrington
- Wexford, Wexford Omniplex
- Widnes, Reel Cinema Widnes
- Wigan, Empire Wigan
- Worcester, Odeon Worcester
- Wrexham, Odeon Wrexham
- York, Reel Cinema York

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