Trudging along at his usual speed—i.e., just far enough behind the pop culture curve to make eyes roll any time he announces a new project—parodist Marlon Wayans has unleashed the trailer for his next film, Fifty Shades Of Black. (No points for guessing which recent pop culture trend Wayans has decided to weakly skewer, complete with jokes about sadomasochistically beating co-star Kali Hawk with whips named after Roots, Django Unchained, and 12 Years A Slave.)
Here’s the bizarre thing, though: This doesn’t look nearly as bad as it might, given what it’s based on, who it stars, and the entire premise of the project. (Admittedly, we’re grading on a curve so severe here that it’s pretty much a right angle.) Hawk is actually kind of charming, for one thing, and grounding the spoofery in an actual relationship—albeit a patently ridiculous one—means things are just slightly less asinine than its pedigree might lead one to expect. Also, everyone involved seems willing to actually acknowledge how stupid what they’re doing is, a self-awareness Fifty Shades Of Grey patently refused to indulge in. All together, it potentially makes Fifty Shades Of Black that rarest of beasts: a Marlon Wayans parody movie less offensively dumb than its original source material. Wonders never cease.