As you may have noticed, the Fifty Shades of Grey film is out. The first reviews are in, and the majority are less than positive. Here's a round-up of the most excoriating verdicts.
The New Yorker
There you have the problem with this film. It is gray with good taste—shade upon shade of muted naughtiness, daubed within the limits of the R rating. Think of it as the “Downton Abbey” of bondage, designed neither to menace nor to offend but purely to cosset the fatigued imagination. You get dirtier talk in most action movies, and more genitalia in a TED talk on Renaissance sculpture.
30 minutes into Fifty Shades of Grey I realised what the real inspiration for the film is: Victoria Wood’s famously dark and disturbing song about the transgressive ecstasy of turning off Gardener’s Question Time in expectation of being bent over your hostess trolley, and beaten on the bottom with a Woman’s Weekly.
Mr Dornan, given the job of inspiring lust, fascination and also maybe a tiny, thrilling frisson of fear, succeeds mainly in eliciting pity... Mr Dornan has the bland affect of a model, by which I mean a figure made of balsa wood or Lego.
About as erotic as an ad for Pottery Barn... A few early reviews have given the film a pass because it's not as dirty as advertised. They seem grateful. I'm disappointed. Twisted me! The true audiences for Fifty Shades of Grey are gluttons for punishment — by boredom.
The Independent: The skyscraper is the most erotic part
We witness English lit student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) arrive at the offices of billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and look skyward up at the long protruding lines of a tall skyscraper. It’s the closest thing to arousal in the film as the movie keeps within the confines of film classification boards by refusing to show genitalia and concentrating its gaze mainly on the female rather than male form.
Sitting through the turgid and tedious S&M melodrama that is Fifty Shades of Grey may feel like its own form of torture... Perhaps worst of all, chemistry is nil between Jamie Dornan as billionaire Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as curious college student Anastasia Steele.