Fifty Shades of Black (2016)

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Fifty Shades of Slack

Director: Michael Tiddes
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Kali Hawk, Affion Crockett, Jane Seymour, Fred Willard, Mike Epps

Inexperienced college student Hannah Steele (Kali Hawk) interviews wealthy entrepreneur Christian Black (Marlon Wayans) for her roommate's school newspaper. She falls for him, only to discover his unusual sexual practices. Yes, it's a parody of Fifty Shades of Grey, and it's lacking in so much more than Sam Taylor-Johnson's box office hit was.

In the hands of a half-decent screenwriter, scathing jabs at E.L James' source material could have been made to hilarious effect. It's all the more unfortunate that Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez deliver the screenplay, as the focus is once more at aping popular films of recent times, conveying gags in tired and sigh worthy ways, and trying to sell how irresistible the irritating Wayans supposedly is. Whatever attempts to poke jabs at the popular novel and its feature length adaptation come off too forced to have any kind of satirical edge.

It's telling that director Michael Tiddes worked with the screenwriters on A Haunted House and its equally dire sequel, as they deliver the same type of work performed for those films. If you're unfortunate enough to have suffered at either film, then you'll have an idea of what to expect. For the lucky others, imagine the curb stomping scene from American History X, only with this film taking the place of Edward Norton's violent skinhead, and the victim being anything resembling enjoyment, humour and a good time.

Whether they were intentioned or not, it's troubling when a source material delivers more laughs than its own comedic parody, bearing in mind comedic is used VERY loosely in this instance. At this current moment, Fifty Shades of Black is 2016's cinematic equivalent of faecal matter.