Fifty Shades review: 'Perfume ads have more depth'
The first reviews of the highly anticipated movie adaption of Fifty Shades of Greyare out - and they're not good.
The film, the first of a planned trilogy, is being released in New Zealand tomorrow in time for Valentine's Day this weekend, but overseas critics say fans of the book haven't been given the raunchy film many expected.
Reviewers complained about the 40-minute wait until the film's first sex scene, while AP reviewer Lindsey Bahr wrote that the film's stars, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, appeared in be acting in different films.
"In trying to please everyone, though, Fifty Shades of Grey has stripped away the fun and settled on palatable. There have been perfume commercials with more depth and story arc," wrote Bahr.
Cinemablend.com reviewer Gregory Wakeman called it "tiresome, banal and as thinly plotted as a porno".
"Fifty Shades Of Grey never verges on the complex, and as a result is both painfully lame and tediously simplistic," he wrote.
"When Fifty Shades Of Grey's long-touted sex scenes do arrive, they fail to add to the film at all. In fact, they just come across as gratuitous. And when coupled with the film's trashy plot, shoddy characterisation and lack of style, this basically turns Fifty Shades Of Grey into the most expensive and scantily-clad soap-opera episode ever."
In a three-star review, NY Daily News reviewer Elizabeth Weitzman praised Johnson's performance but wasn't as kind towards Dornan.
"Dakota Johnson makes for an ideal heroine, though - as doubters feared - her chemistry with co-star Jamie Dornan doesn't always sizzle ...
"Both actors do strip down, and the book's centrepiece scenes are faithfully recreated," wrote Weitzman. "But anyone hoping the movie would really push the S&M envelope may find Christian's tastefully shot toy room a little... vanilla. We see a whip here, a handcuff there, but nothing that would shock even newcomers to the series."
Variety's Juston Chang said the film started well but then became a "serious drag".
"It's a drama that can scarcely sustain one movie, let alone three, and as our heroine becomes ever more aware of just how dark Christian's dark side is, Fifty Shades of Grey starts to lose its sense of humour and elicit the wrong kind of giggles - climaxing with a hilariously overblown S&M montage laden with so many slow-motion dissolves as to suggest that Ana wasn't the only one wearing a blindfold during the assembly."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film had a 70 per cent approval rating after 10 reviews.
The Hollywood Reporter's Sheri Linden was more positive, praising the film's attitude towards sex.
"The first in a planned trilogy of movies will stoke the ardor of James' fans, entice curious newbies, and in every way live up to the 'phenomenon' hype," she wrote.
"Although the book's soft-X explicitness has been toned down to a hard R, this is the first studio film in many years to gaze directly at the Medusa of sex - and unlike such male-leer predecessors as 9½ Weeks, it does so from a woman's perspective."