A long second chapter of the best-selling book and movie, with more to come.

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Kim Basinger
Director: James Foley
Studio: Universal Pictures 61180932 (5/19/7) [2 discs]
Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, HD color
Audio: English DD 5.1 & 2.0, English SDH, French DD 5.1 & DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1 & DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: French, Spanish
Extras: UltraViolet; A Tease to Fifty Shades Freed; Deleted Scenes; Writing Darker; A Darker Direction; Dark Reunion; New Threats; The Masquerade;
Intimate with Darker
Length: 500 min.

Rating: ****

No wonder I had to watch this in pieces over three nights! What a long movie this latest ploy in the international phenomenon is. Billionaire Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Anatasia Steele back into his life. She was evidently put off by his thorough display of bondage.  She demands a new arrangement this time around, and they end up with Christian proposing marriage to her. But shadowy characters from Christian’s past begin to affect the couple.  Anatasia’s boss and a former older lover are determined to destroy the couple’s hopes for a happy future together.

There is much more bondage than in the first film, the costumes and settings are extraordinary, and the ending makes no subtle effort to set up clearly a third film about the terrible two who will try to ruin the lives of the couple. I think I’ll skip that one.

—John Sunier