Fifty Shades of Grey was, and in a way still is a cultural phenomenon. It’s also one of the most hated and most made fun of intellectual properties (intellectual – HA!) of… well ever, with the writing being the biggest target. So it only makes sense that in 2016, the one year between 2015 and 2018 that doesn’t have an actual Fifty Shades film coming out, that we would see a parody, and being the most prolific maker of parodies in modern cinema (but not always the most well received), it only makes sense that Marlon Wayans is the one behind it. Well… here goes!

Fifty Shades of Black is more or less a scene for scene spoof of Fifty Shades of Grey, and the story is virtually identical. An unrealistically innocent college student, Hanna Steele, gets the chance to interview self-made millionaire Christian Black. As they get romantically involved, his unusual and singular taste puts a strain on their relationship.

Fifty Shades of Black Review
Does anyone else feel like Marlon Wayans could be so much more?

I should just cut to the chase – this film is about as funny as you would expect. By that I mean, it’s not very funny at all, and a lot of the jokes are so cheap and crass that I began to get annoyed. It gets worse though, because there are in fact number of good jokes scattered throughout this film. Some of the moments that parody Fifty Shades of Grey more closely are well handled, and there are even a few jokes that I would call intelligent. This takes this film from being not just bad, but feeling like it could have been so much more.

There’s something else that’s strange about this film though. It’s more or less a scene by scene recreation of the movie it’s based on. I mean dialogue, settings, costumes, literally everything about this film feels like Fifty Shades of Greywith every scene working as ‘well’ as it originally did, before quickly descending into childish parody. It makes for a bizarre viewing experience that I would have to recommend – had the film been at least slightly better.