Directed by James Foley, Fifty Shades Freed brings the series to an end. That’s all you need, isn’t it? That’s the whole purpose of a finale. The story, you say? Here? In this film? Pal, best of luck in your extrapolation.
In all seriousness, this trilogy is a blight on cinema. I remain unsure as to how adequately I took to the first Fifty Shades, but following Darker and especially Freed' I feel guilty. I hate that first film now and somehow its sequels got progressively worse.
Freed is genuinely one of the most onerous movie-watching experiences I’ve had to suffer through in recent memory. This movie features the most pointless excuse for a car chase I’ve ever seen. This movie also features the worst dream sequence I've ever sat through, and the worst abduction sequence I’ve ever seen. But ultimately I want to dig into the core of why this movie and its predecessors have failed so miserably.
We’re three movies in, and nothing has changed. The characters don’t change, there’s no plot being engaged with, the conflicts are sententiously resolved with no real consequences or weight. The sex scenes and the imagery of BDSM aren’t at all pleasant to watch because Christian and Anastasia are such horrendously odious characters; this is easily the most toxically depraved relationship I’ve seen on film.
Their relationship goes nowhere. In this movie, the most salient action scene might as well be Anna licking ice cream off of Christians nipples because the rest of it is a joke.
Anna’s creepy old boss Jack Hyde goes after Anna and Christian because he wants to steal her away from Christian. This plotline happened in Darker, and now we’re being dragged through the mud again. It backfires so badly because the character is so despondently stereotypical, there’s no depth or drive behind his actions, he’s just a monotone ‘bad guy’.
My sympathy goes out to Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan; these are two very fine-looking and dramatically capable individuals. I’ve defended them in the past two movies, but the dialogue they’re given sounds so insatiable and appalling that there was never a chance of them ever shining. They’re good actors being dragged through the mud.
Freed engages in some kind of feeling of being an emotional grand finale as evidently shown near the end of the movie when it visually recaps the last two movies. But there's nothing to care about. It’s a derogatory, extortionate, damp, arbitrary dive into the lives of two deranged individuals.
This movie, as with the rest in the series, makes men and women look evil and weak. It’s thoughtlessly scurrilous, annoyingly uneventful and mockingly joyless. This is currently at the top of my list for the ‘Worst Movies of 2018’. The only upside is that it’s all over now. I say – good riddance.
Written by Seán Mac G.