“Fifty Shades Freed”- Movie Review
When I started this blog, I told myself I’d only be reviewing films that I was actually eager to see. As a broke and busy college student at the time, I wanted to spend my time and money wisely. I stayed far away from the notoriously trashy movies. No matter how much people were ranting about them I wouldn’t waste precious minutes on my life on bad cinema. Nowadays I have a new philosophy. How can I truly appreciate the best that film has to offer if I keep shielding myself from the worst? Why not step out of the shell a bit? So as my new commitment to this blog, I’ve decided to branch out and try to see as many films as possible. With all that being said, let’s talk about Fifty Shades Freed!
Based on the popular book series by E.L. James, the film marks the “thrilling” conclusion to the 50 Shades trilogy. Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) have married, and are now enjoying a new chapter in their lives as husband and wife. They enjoy taking exotic trips, buying fancy houses and having tons and tons of sex. But the newlywed game is cut short when an unhinged figure from the past (Eric Johnson) re-enters their lives and threatens to tear their relationship apart.
Would any of you be surprised if I tell you this is a terrible movie? Probably not. It’s the third installment of a series of terrible movies which stem from terrible books. Admittedly I’ve never read the books from cover to cover. Not even out of sheer curiosity. I managed to stomach a page or two while I was browsing through Barnes and Noble one boring afternoon. I never saw the first Fifty Shades movie. I just read the Wikipedia synopsis. I saw the second one on TV and thought it was one of the most boring hyper-sexual films (which, to clarify, I don’t actively watch a lot of) that I’ve seen. Those sentiments can be said for this one as well.
For a film that promises risqué sexual adventures and immersion into the world of BDSM, Fifty Shades Freed is painfully boring. The film isn’t really about anything until the last forty-five minutes or so, when the villain’s plan is finally into motion. Until then, everything that happens is filler. Ana and Christian go on a date, and then they have sex. They get an expensive house or go on a trip, and then they have sex. Wash, rinse, repeat. Most scenes in the first half are shot like commercials for expensive cars, big fancy houses and luxury vacations. Moments of conflict are sprinkled across the first two acts in the form of pointless arguments that create the illusion that something of importance is happening. It doesn’t help that the actors’ performances seem bored and uninspired. They’re definitely trying, but they have nothing to work with.
The characters have no dimension, no personality. Because of that, I couldn’t care less when the bad things started happening. They exist to full-fill an erotic fantasy, I get that. You can argue I’m taking it too seriously. That Fifty Shades is here to explore raunchy imaginations, not deep or compelling characters. Though if that were true, then the whole series would be only one book/movie long. Why stretch it into a trilogy? Why introduce explanations as to why Christian grey behaves the way he does but never look into it further in any of the other films? Why include a conspiracy involving a jealous stalker? Why not just tell a single erotic story about a woman who experiences a sexual awakening through the S&M antics of a handsome billionaire and be done? Because danger is sexy, I guess.
In the end, Fifty Shades Freed is pure smut that’s trying to be something more. With an exception of one or two moments, the sex scenes aren’t more or less risky than those I’ve seen in other movies. The film’s lack of plot until the very end makes it a slog to sit through. The characters, the writing, and even the BDSM aspects are remarkably uninteresting. If you legitimately like this series, they don’t let me stop you. I just don’t understand the appeal. If you’re not much of a fan, and you’re thinking about checking this out as a contender for a spicy Valentine’s date, then I suggest staying home.
Cosmic Grade: 1.3/5 Stars