Andrew Hamlin 7 a.m., Sept. 20
Fifty Shades Darker
Watching contract players Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan mechanically mate is as erotically unfulfilling as studying the reproductive habits of amoeba. The promising “Revenge of the Sub” subplot hinted at in the trailer takes up maybe five minutes of screen time. The rest is squandered on tortured Dornan promising he’ll get better and doe-eyed Dakota quickly acquiescing to his every dopey desire. If Dornan spent as much time working on character shading as he did working out, there might be something to talk about other than his perpetual two-day stubble (seemingly grown specifically for the sequel). Even if ticket sales aren’t on par with the original, the sale of branded ben wa balls will no doubt go through the roof. As for it being darker, given the sparsity of people of color in the cast, they just might as well have called it Fifty Shades Ofay. James Foley (Two Bits, Glengarry Glen Ross) picks up a check. 2017.