Review: Fifty Shades Freed

Fifty Shades Freed
2 10

PLOT: After Anastasia and Christian finally get married, they discover that Jack Hyde is back to cause a bit of trouble for the newlyweds.

REVIEW: From the beginning, the romance between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey on the big screen was far from erotic. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY gave fans of the books an awkward introduction, and FIFTY SHADES DARKER drifted further into camp. Then what do we make of FIFTY SHADES FREED? Well if you thought the first two films were devoid of anything resembling a plot, get ready for this bizarre and convoluted “climax.” With only a handful of things I appreciated about the first couple of films - the lovely Dakota Johnson, the Marcia Gay Harden/Kim Basinger slap and the pop infused soundtrack - most of the charm has faded. This sequel is far more painful on the viewer than any toy in Mr. Grey’s “Playroom” than you’d ever expect. And if whips and chains excite you, don’t expect much of that in the latest and final chapter. In fact, don’t expect much of anything.

After the events of FIFTY SHADES DARKER, fans finally witness the marriage of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). After the ceremony, they take off for a romantic getaway, only to be called back because of a break in at his company. With the word spreading on the newly married couple, it seems not everyone is thrilled with the announcement. Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) is back with a dangerous message for the master and his slave, now wife. Is he just jealous of the sexy twosome settling down? Or is there a mysterious reason that you can figure out well in advance whether you’ve read the books or not? Yeah, this is about as deep and complex as an old Seventies/Eighties detective show like Charlie’s Angels or Hart to Hart. Yet, it’s not nearly that entertaining.

fifty shades freed dakota johnson jamie dornan anastasia steele christian grey james foley e.l. james erotic

How bad is FIFTY SHADES FREED? Where shall we begin? Let’s start with the biggest problem for the entire series, and that is the script. Written by Niall Leonard, and based on the excruciatingly bad work by E.L. James, it is stunningly boring this time around. However, I’m not sure if Leonard is really to blame. The source material didn’t do anyone any favors. The third time around, at best, is occasionally pretty to look at, but without a semblance of anything engaging. For most of the movie, not much of anything happens. They get married, and there is a pop song montage. They go home and there is a pop song montage. Rinse, lather and repeat. They play up this bland formula until the ridiculously lazy thriller aspect arrives with Eric Johnson hamming his bad guy role up. And guess what? The vibrator that is used at one point is far more menacing than Mr. Johnson.

One of the few aspects that worked was the presence of the lovely Dakota Johnson once again. The actress is quite radiant and seemingly comfortable with the many stages of undress she appears in. While she still manages to be far better than the material, you can tell it is a major struggle to bring life to any of it. As far as her co-star, Jamie Dornan is clearly trying, but there is nothing likable about Christian Grey. He’s a brute, he’s rude and he’s kind of a selfish a-hole. The fact that she marries this jerk makes you question her as well. The chemistry is still hit or miss, and the attempts at humor are usually more painful than being whipped. And of course the lousy and predictable mystery element of why Jack Hyde is back is really amateurish.

It’s nearly impossible to believe that the director of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS and AT CLOSE RANGE continues to helm this franchise - the first film was directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. The look of FIFTY SHADES FREED is serviceable but there is nothing special about it. It’s easy to tire of this glamorous life of sex and romance after awhile. And speaking of sex, why is it so damn generic and dull this time around? That’s not to say that the more BDSM aspects of the first two films were all that provocative, but it is rarely used here. Instead, the half-ass thriller aspects take over near the end and the rest is just Anastasia and Christian getting ready for married, and possible family, life. They do have sex quite a bit, but once again, this series manages to make eroticism a bore. I mean, really, really boring.

FIFTY SHADES FREED is what you’d expect, but worse. Dakota Johnson still manages to charm, but much like the stories you hear in real life, the sex is gone after this marriage. The third film feels like an R-rated version of the last couple of TWILIGHT films without the vampire aspect. Since that is where E.L. James’ career began, it’s not all that shocking. This formula has lost any semblance of fun since FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. All this “climactic” final film really does is make erotic sex dull and reminds us that Christian Grey is an awful person. Frankly, I was rooting for Ms. Steele to pack up and run away with her bodyguard Sawyer (Brant Daugherty). She would have been better off. If you’ve invested yourself in this series, nobody can blame you for checking this out. However, if you really must do so because you are a completist, you may just want to wait until it winds up on HBO GO.

Source: JoBlo.com



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