• DERRICK DUNN

Kinky is a low rent Fifty Shades


The world of BDSM is explored in director Jean-Claude La Marre's Kinky from Nu-Lite Entertainment and Patriot Pictures. Dr. Joyce Carmichael (Dawn Richard) is a talented and shy surgeon in Atlanta. On the surface, Joyce seems to have everything a woman could want, except love in her life. Joyce regularly brushes off the advances of fellow doctor Bradley (Darrin Dewitt Henson). Her only satisfaction seems to come from one of her adult toys.


For reasons that are never explained in detail, Joyce sees a therapist Dr. Richardson (Jean-Claude La Marre), who wants Joyce to embrace her womanhood. All appears to be lost until Joyce meets handsome Investor Darrin Wethington (Robert Ri'chard). Joyce immediately begins a whirlwind romance with the wealthy businessman and entrepreneur. It isn't long before Joyce begins to explore her own fantasies and convinces Darrin to join her in the S&M lifestyle.


Walking into Kinky, I didn't expect much as the trailers seem to bill it as nothing more than a version of Fifty Shades of Gray with black leads. Given the director's previous track record, I didn't expect much. For starters, for this to be a film about the S&M lifestyle and sexuality, the love scenes were pretty tame. I've seen cable TV shows more explicit than anything in Kinky. Granted, you don't have to show nudity to successfully curate a love scene on film. However, when a film's marketing campaign mentions it's going to top Fifty Shades, it should deliver.


One of my main issues with the film was the director's overuse of wipe edits from scene to scene. For me, this effect took me out of the story, and with twenty eights credits on his directorial resume, Jean-Claude La Marre should've used something better. I also found the film's pacing to be off as certain scenes set up a possible storyline, but there is never a payoff.


In terms of the acting in her first lead role Dawn Richard, formerly of the group Danity Kane does decent work. Some of her lines did come across as natural. There are a few lines that felt forced and bland. Robert Ri'chard continues to try and escape his childhood actor status as our male lead Darrin. While he does a passable job, the love scenes he has with Dawn Richard come off as amateurish. Sitting in the theater, I found myself laughing at his character, which I highly doubt was the director's intended effect.


Veteran actors Vivica A. Fox and Gary Dourdan are also wasted in the roles of older siblings to Joyce and Darrin. It's clear that both actors are only in this movie for a paycheck and really aren't given much to do. Perhaps the film would've worked better had Vivica A. Fox and Gary Dourdan were the leads. The only cast member I found enjoyable was R&B singer Willie Taylor, in a hilarious cameo as Darrin's personal trainer.


The final nail in the coffin for me was the film's cliffhanger ending. Kinky has one of the worst stops I've ever seen in my thirty-four years of movie-going. There was one point where the film could've ended, and my rating would be higher. Instead, it keeps going, and the ending truly ruins the movie.


While I generally support all filmmakers no matter their race, I go out of my way to support black filmmakers. Sadly Jean-Claude La Marre has made a film stinker that should've never seen a theatrical release.


Final Grade F

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