Fifty Shades of Grey: Unseen Edition review

This painfully serious bonk-buster could have done with a few more gags

This saucy blockbuster tells the tale of sexually naive college student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), who begins a relationship with hunky businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), only to learn that he is even more dominant in the bedroom (or, more accurately, his 'red room of pain') than he is in the corporate boardroom.

There's no getting around it, Fifty Shades of Grey isn't a memorable film. At least if it had been laughably bad it would have provided its own type of entertainment. But this highly publicised flick commits the sin of merely being extraordinarily dull.

Firstly, there's very little chemistry between the two leads, which would have been useful in helping to overcome the terrible, wooden dialogue that fills the downtime between the naughty bits. Heck, even the supposedly edgy and transgressive rumpy-pumpy will fail to startle most viewers – there's certainly nothing as erotic or iconic as, for example, the fridge scene from 9 1/2 Weeks.

You only have to look at films like Secretary and The Duke of Burgundy see how material such as this can be treated in a way that manages to keep viewers engaged with intelligent storytelling, a sense of humour and fully-rounded characters. As it stands, the knowledge that there are two Fifty Shades… sequels on the way is far more sadistic than any of Christian Grey's bedroom antics.

Picture: Fifty Shades of Grey certainly looks pretty impressive when rendered at 1080p. The Blu-ray's AVC 2.40:1 encode does great work with the film's warm colour palette, particularly when it comes to the rich hues that fill the screen during Chapter 13's contract signing or any of the visits to Christian's 'playroom'. Detailing is also extremely refined, with tiny pores and hairs clearly visible on all of the naked flesh.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track on Universal's release is a rather uneventful affair. Dialogue and music sound every bit as authentic as you'd expect from a modern film, and there's good separation across the front stereo spread. But outside of subtle atmospheric effects and surrounding you with the score, there's really very little attempt made at engaging the rears.
Audio rating: 3.5/5

Extras: The disc includes two cuts of the film – Theatrical (125 mins) and Unseen (128 mins). More traditional goodies take the form of a multitude of promo featurettes; a 20-min Making of…; and an interactive tour of Christian's apartment.
Extras rating: 3.5/5

We say: A virile hi-def outing for an impotent piece of cinematic erotica

Fifty Shades of Grey: Unseen Edition, Universal Pictures, All-region BD, £25 Approx