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Film/TV Fifty Shades

Published on February 13th, 2018 | by voxx

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Fifty Shades Freed

Out: Now
Cert: 18
Length: 105 minutes
Rating: 2/5

Director: James Foley

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Rita Ora

Plot: Now married, Anastasia (Johnson) and Christian Grey (Dornan) see their honeymoon interrupted by the return of Jack Hyde (Johnson), who is out for payback on Anastasia for losing him his job.

It’s kind of ironic really that an erotic series which started out it’s history as a ‘Twilight’ saga fan-fiction where sex, BDSM, and safe words are prevalent, the Fifty Shades trilogy has stayed surprisingly safe handed. Granted, those points remain as the anchor in the film’s storytelling. Also, since starting in 2015 it never seems to have celebrated the kitsch like one of those ‘90s DTV erotic thrillers with boundary pushing titles such as Lethally Blonde. Plus it never takes the serious side of what kind of relationship the author was aiming for when she initially wrote the books. By taking a full-on dive into erotic obsession, it basically ends in the same route, thus resulting in something that’s horrendously tame, filled with mostly poor affairs, not bad enough to be audience guilty pleasures or indeed good enough to be, well, entertaining. ‘Fifty Shades Freed’  largely follows in that same formula.

Yet again, the result is as tedious as the previous films; adapted by James’ husband, Niall Leonard, again ‘ Freed’ doesn’t have much of a story as such. After an opening montage of Anastasia (Johnson) and Christian (Dornan) tying the knot of marriage, starting their honeymoon, can you guess where they end up? These moments are essentially stringed up vignettes thus compromising different types of porn. Of course, we get the handful of BDSMarital get-togethers (there are handcuffs on ankles, sex toy teasing, and all sorts of shenanigans involving ice cream, almost exclusively played out to a slowed down retro hit). Yet alongside that the film also gives us a handful of other types of porn. There’s a private jet, a flashy sports car and finally workplace porn etc. Are you keeping count? No? We aren’t either. If you remember it, the first one centered on an arc for Anastasia to go on, from virginal student to a sexually awakened paramour, but after the tedious second film, here there is no such luck on having that arc again. Then with what slithers of plot this one has to offer, it takes in it’s premise to turn into an afternoon TV style thriller revolving around the return of Ana’s former boss Jack Hyde (a terrible Eric Johnson), the creepy guy from ‘Fifty Shades Darker’. Often, as far as revenge plots go, (some can be good), it is a slow, dull burn with tedious results and as per usual with the thriller premise the final thrill normally doesn’t appear until the last few moments. And here, after some same ol’ routes into BDSM, it’s left predictable and boring.

Indeed, ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ certainly is some hokey stuff, but it’s not all bad. It’s beautifully shot and there’s a charming performance by Johnson (the female one), but yet again the third in the trilogy is as tedious as the other two and I for one am glad it’s over.

VERDICT: A tedious end to a damp squib of a trilogy which sees Johnson as the only one to be freed completely unscathed. 

- By Corey Denford


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