Studio: Adam & Eve
Director: Ernest Greene
Cast: Bree Olson, Kayden Kross, Tommy Gunn, Evan Stone, Nina Hartley, Ava Rose, Trinity Post, Mika Tan, Bobbi Starr, Erik Everhard, Jerry, Claire Adams, Marco Banderas, Nicole Sheridan
Portions of this review also appeared on Fleshbot
“We hate to be wet alone,” says Marie (Nina Hartley) of her new, incorrigible slave O (Bree Olson). “(But) we don’t punish because they’re bad, we punish because it’s fun.”
In the rarefied world of O2, director Ernest Greene’s “fan fiction” updating of characters from Anne Desclos’ “The Story of O” (and the sequel to 2006′ O: The Power of Submission), everything requires permission and everything has rules. But the consequences are supposed to be fun.
So what happens in a D/s relationship when things aren’t fun anymore?
Before we get to that, let’s talk about Bree Olson and Carmen Luvana.
In the original, former Adam & Eve flagship contract star Carmen Luvana played the title character as Carmen Luvana herself is; a steely, no-nonsense sweaterminx who was all machine-crafted porn-star curves. Olson inhabits the role in a far-more cushiony way. It is easy to believe the sub in her. In fact, as the stern (but fair) Hartley and the Amazonian Sheridan put O(lson) through her paces, hanging her upside down, smacking tantalizingly close to her most secret places, O looks like a delicious and yielding piece of dough beside the two more angular ladies.
“You don’t have to see the first one to get the story,” director Greene says. But I get the feeling Adam & Eve would like you to. The first movie made a lot of money and still brings in a fair amount of cash each month, which is unheard of for a porn movie from two years ago (which is a much better way of saying “a two-year-old porn movie”).
The sequel finds our heroine still in love with the man she left behind, having even lasered off his tattoo from her tramp stamp area. But can she keep away? And will Marie be her enabler?
O is a sexual tourist, a servant of many masters, and the story of O is what constitutes fidelity in the master/slave relationship.
Marie and Mistress Nicole (Nicole Sheridan) are co-dominatrices in a clean industrial space to which O has hied herself to begin masturbating without permission. And this is not allowed.
So the movie opens with this zesty little scene in which Olson is nothing but a willing plaything to Marie and Mistress Nicole. And this is fine. BDSM purists will love it as will fans of Hartley, Sheridan, and Olson, each of whom represents a body type characteristic of the generations of Porn in which she started.
But after her workout, Olson and Hartley start talking (Sheridan has been dispatched to In-n-Out Burger, where she will return with a bagful of Double Doubles that the ladies will wrestle in for the O sequel in my mind). As in real life, Hartley as Marie plays an impish mentor, suggesting to O that her “maintenance doses” of whupping might not be enough to scratch O’s itch.
“Why don’t you come up to the house?” says Marie.
The house! If there had been a budget for it, we would have flashed back to 2006 and the strange events at The House, a full-immersion “lifestyle” chateau in which masters, mistresses and their servants live their roles unfettered by aspects of common living like phone bills, nosy relatives, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was here that O’s character was swapped between the imperious Steven and his tragic brother Ray, and where O broke Steven’s heart.
O swallows her fear and makes the drive, and in a quick montage sequence that would have made Stephen J. Cannell rethink his career, she gets herself gussied up for the experience, removing underthings, self-shackling handcuffs, etc.
At the house, O meets Rita (Mika Tan) and Regina (Kayden Kross), who let her know that Marie is the prime mover in the operation, not the fellows whom she lets think are in charge.
“It’s a quite profitable business,” Regina says. “For us.”
But wouldn’t that make me a whore? we hear O thinking.
“Don’t even say it,” Rita says.
Now it’s time for more sex. For someone who so clearly looks like the late-model porn star, Kayden Kross sure works hard for her money. Unlike Olson, who looks the part of a welcoming sub, the porn-glamorous Kross must convince us that she really likes what she’s doing, and she does this in a post-shaving interlude with Erik Everhard. She and the Canadian Everhard engage in some cross-border trucing that is all about the north/south reconciliation and not about fisheries.
But things are going tough for O. Not only is Steven downstairs making Tan and Ava Rose do terrible, wonderful things, but his prodigal half-brother Ray (Tommy Gunn) also just checked in. O is distraught, and Rita dutifully runs to tell Marie, after Rita and O share a tearful girls’ moment in the tastefully appointed swingers’ lavatory. It’s a goddamn henhouse with buttplugs in there.
“Oh, poor O,” says Marie when Rita tells her the news, as if Marie couldn’t have prevented all this potential heartache. (Like God, a dominatrix always wants to take the credit for the good times, but when things go south, it’s all about your personal responsibility.)
Anyway, after watching O endure encounters with both cold Steven and hapless Ray (the brothers have a scene together – in which they talk – where I almost forgot I was watching a porn movie, save for Kayden Kross’ ass), puppetmistress Marie orchestrates a reconciliation between O and Steven. She even gives the soon-to-be-couple a ring with the inscription “Freedom is deciding whose slave you want to be.”
At this point I was wondering “what gives you the right, Marie?” when O said those very words on screen.
“I don’t,” says Marie. “But, like everything I have in life, I took it.”
So not only does O2 illuminate and glorify good D/s relationships as healthy partnerships between thoughtful people, it also validates Marie’s unsettling compulsion to meddle. This domme is topping from the side.
All in all, that’s a lot to think about while lubricating your apparatus.
While now and then a performer seems to struggle with the lines he has been asked to deliver, my only real problem with this movie is that it looks like it deserved more money. Normally with porn movies it’s the other way around; they are playing at “mainstream” production values but lacking the skill to pull it off. O2 had the skills but, with only five days to shoot what could have been a month-long indie project, it was like having to watch Lawrence of Arabia on a little black and white TV.
Regardless, as a sex film, as a lifestyle documentary, and as a flesh-packed, English-language telenovela, O2: The Surrender of O is, like its predecessor, another porn movie that transcends its genre. Remember: Come for the Nina, stay for the Bree.