The newest addition to the Hollywood spoofing legend stars one of its most prominent actors Marlon Wayans. This time parodying the likes of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Magic Mike” to name a few, in “Fifty Shades of Black”. Wayans stars as Christian Black, who much like the original Christian Grey, is a billionaire executive in pursuit of a young woman named Hannah (played by Kali Hawk). As Christian gets closer to her, the hilarities of his sexual practices and tortured past leaves a strain on the evergrowing relationship between the two. Christian recounts the many silly events that led to their very rich philanthropist that he is today. Directed by Michael Tiddes (A Haunted House films), The movie follows the same basic plot points as Fifty Shades Of Grey but in classic Wayans fashion, Marlon tackles whiteness, black stereotypes and in a brief tease, Kim Kardashian’s Paper cover shoot.
I have never once tried drinking poison, as some of you can tell by the fact that I write these reviews weekly. But my imagination tells me that seeing “Fifty Shades of Black” might not be too far off. I am literally poisoning myself for sitting through this puddle of puke. Parody films more times than not have been miss for me, but the classics like “Airplane” and “Don’t Be a Menace” always hold up because their material pushed the films they were spoofing that much further. They do justice to each scene without feeling desperate by trying to make their own cut of the film, and that is the problem with this mess. I wish I had a lot of positives for the story in this film, but everything looks and feels cheap because easy money is the best kind of reward. Marlon Wayans knows that idiots will see this movie and his eight others just like it because it requires no creativity. For a majority of the script, they are working off of the originality of films like “Fifty Shades of Grey”, “Magic Mike” and even “Whiplash”, a film I never thought I would see thrown into sexual movies like the previous two. The plot structure (SURPRISE SURPRISE) feels like a series of skits slapped together and edited to make one feature length film. Nothing is in continuity, and there certainly are no lasting effects to the encounters these characters go through. Sadly, the film is an advocate to the very film it spoofs. “Grey” was a movie that I didn’t enjoy in the least, but after seeing “Black” I feel that more people will be drawn to the original. If you see this movie before you see the source material, your grade might not be as harsh for “Grey”.
The comedic material (If you can call it that) is virtually non-existent. It’s not often during a movie that I will be offended. I pride myself with having thick skin when it comes to fictional material, but this movie offended me and any other kind of race of human beings who will go to see it this week. The best hits of low-life racism are all here for every inbread to enjoy. Fast speaking gibberish for the asians, Chicken and Kool-Aid for the African Americans, and the stealing of other cultures for the caucasians. This film aims its arrow strong and hits the target blindfolded. To give credit where it’s due, the movie made me laugh a couple of times during the Magic Mike spoofs. To say even more to the producers goals, I never laughed once at the Fifty Shades material. After about a half hour in, the film feels like it lost touch with its origins and simply doesn’t care where it goes from there. The jokes go on and on so much that the punchline gets drowned in a pool of overabundance. During those couple times I did laugh, I was asking the movie to move on five minutes later when it was still pointing out the same punchline. The audience moves on from this schtick long before the characters do. It’s like watching a ten year old who tells one funny joke but then changes the wording up to see how many times they can get the adults to laugh at the same word. Usually that word is “Poopy” because there sure is no lack of toilet humor in this movie. From urination, to fecal matter, to Marlon’s favorite sex jokes, this film has everything for the adolescent starter pack whose parents may be afraid to sit down and have the talk with them. It gets old quickly, and you will find yourself reaching for your watch with about an hour left. 87 minutes have seriously never felt so long to me.
Marlon Wayans plays his most detestable character to date, and I can understand how a lot of that is intentional. Wayans is trying to show how derranged the character of Christian Grey is, and I have no problem realizing that. Where my problem with Black lies is that he seemingly has the intelligence of an eight year old. He’s abusive, never worked for his money, and terrible in bed. SO WHAT MAKES HIM EVEN REMOTELY APPEALING??? Even in a spoof movie, these kinds of things have to have a string of logic. Kali Hawk is even worse, as her character is nothing more than a mock to all women to show how naive they are. For a second, it feels like Hannah’s character could go somewhere to make a stand for her superior sex, but the movie quickly falls back into its disgusting clutches because Marlon wrote it that way. It feels like a black version of Adam Sandler, and I couldn’t help but scratch my head over the supposed chemistry the movie wants them to have. All of this pales in comparison however to the single worst aspect of this film. Jenny Zigrino plays an overweight white girl with a black accent. That’s it, that is her character. The movie donates so much of its screen time to this character because its ideas and plot are the size of a single pea, so we the audience are put through scene after grueling scene of loud and obnoxious dialogue that never goes anywhere except the bedroom. She’s fat so lets put her in a scene with a sandwich. She’s horny, so lets put her in a scene with a guy with a ten foot penis. How does a screenplay like this not reek of Oscar gold? Zigrino’s voice alone left me shaking with so much anger that I almost yelled out loud without any control.
Overall, “Fifty Shades of Black” is an 87 minute apology to the films I have given a 1/10 over the last five years. It’s material is stale from the opening minute, and we the audience are treated to a collection of ill-timed jokes that miss their creative mark every time. I can respect my readers for disagreeing with me on movies that I rate. The world is certainly open to interpretation. But if you enjoyed this movie, I question your sanity. If you found it funny more than the occasional pity laugh, you have some serious problems. Movies like this are the very bane of my existence as a film critic. There is certainly room for this one to grow, but as it stands, the film is definitely in my five least favorite films of all time. Truly utterly awful. This is everything we feared that the original movie was going to be.