The series is finally over but will it end with a bang or simply fade away?
Synopsis: Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins. (Universal Pictures)
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, and Eric Johnson
Writer: Niall Leonard
Director: James Foley
Rating: 18A (Canada)/R (United States)
Running Time: 105mins
For showtimes and more, check out Fifty Shades Freed on movietimes.com.
So it’s finally over. Despite the quality of the book and film series, it has still managed to earn quite the fan base that have flocked to book stores and theaters in masses. While the first two films were not great by any means but they still had some redeeming qualities in that they were both trashy fun. Unfortunately, the final film and the finale of the series, Fifty Shades Freed, lacks any of that fun.
This time, Ana (Johnson) and Christian (Dornan) are now married and are living the high life until they are interrupted by Ana’s former boss Jack (Johnson). That’s pretty much it as this installment lacks in any coherent plot whatsoever. Watching Ana and Christian live their unrealistic life of wealth and gratuitous sex becomes repetitive and dull very quickly. What also didn’t help was that the tone was all over the place. There are so many superfluous scenes that it eventually became frustrating to watch and made the film feel messy as a result.
We all knew that Christian had issues but he was simply insufferable here while projecting his many insecurities upon Ana which made her own mood swings look better by comparison. The lack of chemistry between Ana and Christian was still apparent as each were on completely different wavelengths which made it more difficult to get invested in the story. Of course the plot was driven by questionable character decisions in order to maximize the resulting drama or lack thereof.
The majority of the film was going nowhere until the story finally decides to address Jack. Once it did, the resolution was definitely underwhelming to say the least because the subplot was paper thin to begin with and thus was too convenient (this is coming from someone who’s only read the first half of the first book). There may have been some friction but there was never a doubt as to how it would all end, however, getting there was a chore.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the acting was mediocre at best which is mostly due to the mediocre writing and direction. Both Johnson and Dornan have been better elsewhere so it has to be the writing and direction. Their chemistry showed signs of improvement in the previous film but this film undid that progress. Both appeared to be sleepwalking through their performances, lacking passion. Dornan was especially insufferable due to his immature outbursts. Johnson was slightly better though the bad dialog didn’t do her any favors. Johnson as Jack was laughably bad.
Overall, this was the worst of what is widely considered a not particularly great series to begin with. The writing, direction, and performances were still mediocre but as opposed to the first two films which were trashy fun, this one lacked that fun and was just a dull, incoherent, and a chore to watch.