We’ve finally been released from the binds of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, which I can only imagine is why the final movie (and book) is called Fifty Shades Freed. After three movies, they’re over. We’re done with them. No more do we have to sit through these thinly plotted and weakly characterized excuses of softcore porn that are masquerading as movies worth our attention. If you like them, fine, but you know why you like them, and it’s not because they’re even once attempting to be great art.
The final movie opens with our protagonists, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), getting married. Hooray! They’re going to be in a great relationship now, I’m sure. No more creepy controlling Christian or can’t-stick-to-her-morals-because-of-a-crush Anastasia, right?
What movie do you think you’re watching, anyway?
Most of the plot of this one gets placed into one of two categories. (1) The couple fights for reasons that don’t matter. (2) Anastasia’s former boss, Jack (Eric Johnson), does things that are illegal—like breaking into their home and holding a knife to one of their throats—but somehow mostly escapes punishment because we need to use him and his loose idea of justice as a way to have some sort of climax that doesn’t involve, uh, climaxing, if you catch my drift. He’s a cartoonishly evil villain, but that’s because he’s coming from a book written by someone whose characters act exclusively with their ids.
Fifty Shades Freed ends the franchise. Thank goodness.
About the only fun that’s present is the film’s sense of humor, which will occasionally generate laughter. More often, it’ll make you laugh when it doesn’t want to. Still, laughter is laughter, I guess. The sex scenes have gotten progressively tamer and still for some reason feel male gaze-y, even though men are most definitely not the target audience. They’re still not any good, largely because of the lack of passion between the two leads and how bland the characters they’re playing are.
It was clear from the get-go that neither Johnson or Dornan were going to bring much to the table here. Johnson has a bit of energy but can’t do anything to make Anastasia something resembling a deep character, while Dornan is almost anti-charismatic as Christian. There’s no spark or chemistry between them. We don’t care about their problems. Break up, stay together, get married, divorce, have a kid, create a suicide pact—who cares? They’re nothing people who seem indifferent to one another.
None of these movies are good. The second one is moderately intriguing, at least from a plot perspective, but even that’s only because of what little its predecessor brought to the table; it looked good (relatively) as a result. Fifty Shades Freed is a really bad movie which fails as a romance because its characters are bland, the writing is bad, and its actors don’t seem to care. It also fails as a thriller, which it laughably at times tries to become, in large part because of the same reasons, but with the added bonus that it has no idea how to generate even a remote amount of suspense or tension.
I am glad that the franchise is over.
Conclusion: Fifty Shades Freed ends the franchise. Thank goodness.
Recommendation: Even if you’ve stuck it out this long and saw the previous two movies, there’s no reason to check out Fifty Shades Freed.