Fifty Shades Freed

Going into the third film of this series you had to be aware of what you were getting into. With each subsequent film the quality went down. So you could not possibly have had to had many expectations with this the final one. And yet I still found myself shocked. Shocked by the horribleness of it all. This, by far, was the weakest film of the three. Even the music here was only a shade of the original’s.

There is even precious little sex to be found here. Isn’t that really what people have been coming to the Fifty Shades films for? The opportunity to see a couple of attractive people engage in some slap and tickle? Though the novels were no great feats of literature they delivered what a certain swath of women wanted. Now on the big screen that naughtiness has been totally toned down. Maybe it is true that marriage kills even the most vigourous love life…it is all now rather predictable…like the storyline itself.

Yes, marriage. Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan), the man who likes dominating women in the bedroom and did not seem capable of monogamy, has had a ring put on it. The woman is Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson) and she is now Mrs. Grey. The two newlyweds head off to the city of love, Paris, for their honeymoon.

After some post wedding coitus, they return to their lives in rainy Seattle. Christian gets back to work and Ana is delving into her new promotion as fiction editor at the indie publishing house she works at. Once back at home, being married has its share of bumps. Christian is not happy that Ana has not taken his name at work, is upset when she mentions something about having a baby and really loses it when she goes for a drink with a friend without asking his permission.

Behind the anger is Christian being worried about Ana’s former boss, Jack Hyde (played by Eric Johnson), plotting revenge against the two. He is obviously unhinged.

Like the previous films, what ultimately sinks the film is the lack of chemistry between the two leads. Instead of burning red hot, it is all rather grey (I couldn’t resist). Instead of believing that these two cannot wait to rip each other’s clothes off they seem to not be able to wait until the film series is over.

The character of Christian Grey is pretty much an impossible ask for the actor portraying him. He is pretty much a fantasy man. A man that many women would like to “heal” with all his baggage and damage. There is his painful past which “explains” why he revels in being the dominant in bed. Then you have to add in the unsure in real life side. Christian demonstrates himself to be petulant and without any real self confidence. Dornan just has never within the three films ever seemed to have gotten a handle on how to play Christian Grey. Which I cannot really blame him for. It is made even more precarious, his uncertainty as an actor, when he plays most of his scenes beside the very charismatic Dakota Johnson. She is just so likeable. Even when here character is annoying. As an actress, Johnson does not take this material as serious. She always seems amused by what is going on. Even though Dornan and those watching aren’t.

Most of the story here involves ridiculous decisions and cheesy dialogue. That plus the rather tame sex scenes equals yawns from the audience. Most of the choices the characters make are rather head scratchers. No human in their right minds would behave like they do. Though the novels were rather trashy here the writing is just plain lazy. Scenes that are supposed to be filled with tension end up rather amusing. Scenes that are supposed to give us insight about the characters (Christian playing piano and singing is a classic example of this) end up just being silly.

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