Review: Marlon Wayans’ parody ‘Fifty Shades of Black’ targets ‘Grey,’ fetishism, sexism and racism
For those completely unfamiliar with “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the parody “Fifty Shades of Black” might seem nonsensical.
In this spoof, Marlon Wayans and Kali Hawk reenact scenes from the BDSM opus as though E.L. James’ characters no longer have filters on their id. Directed by Michael Tiddes, “Black” foregoes too much scene-setting, chronology and logic to stand completely on its own.
As a piece of cultural criticism, however, it painstakingly eviscerates nearly every scene in “Grey” and skewers latent sexism, classism and ludicrous sexual innuendoes, as well as the original’s numerous plot holes. But it’s decidedly lowbrow, overlooking how all involved in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s self-serious James adaptation fancied it as some modern take on Jane Austen.
With timely sideswipes at microaggressions, white privilege and Donald Trump, the film has enough moments to compensate for its misguided nods at “Whiplash” and “Magic Mike.”
‘Fifty Shades of Black’
MPAA rating: R, for strong crude sexual content, including some graphic nudity, and for language throughout.
Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Playing: In general release
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