Fifty Shades Freed is the farthest thing from a climax

By Jacob Tiranno | February 11th, 2018

“Fifty Shades Freed” is the concluding act in the popular Fifty Shades trilogy, based on the books by E. L. James.


The final installment, directed by James Foley, opens with Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, and Christian Grey, portrayed by Jamie Dornan, reciting their wedding vows. That’s when the movie should have ended. In fact, the first movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” should have concluded that way.


Why? Nothing happens in this movie and nothing happened in the previous film, “Fifty Shades Darker,” either. This is a textbook example of “milking it.”


“Fifty Shades of Grey,” while not a good movie, at least has something to offer: It tells the story of these polar opposite individuals falling in love and trying to find their middle ground.


“Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed” are montages of a rich and indulgent lifestyle. Imagine a perfume commercial and watered-down BDSM sex scenes. This time these wild moves involved ice cream and a vibrator. Wow, so risqué. Not to mention that every intimate scene feels stilted and awkward because Doran and Johnson were never able to achieve solid chemistry.


The best word to describe the film is frustrating. The cliffhanger from the second film is that Steele’s former boss, Jack Hyde, played by Eric Johnson, goes psycho after being fired and seemingly wants revenge on the Grey family.


In this movie, Hyde – a former editor at a publishing house – is cracking the high-tech security of Grey Enterprise and planting bombs like a pro. It’s utterly ridiculous and unbelievable, and not nearly as exciting as it sounds. This all happens within the first 15 minutes and the rest of the movie just continues to hype up how supposedly dangerous Hyde is.


Then an hour and fifteen minutes later audiences finally get to the climax, a confrontation between Hyde and Steele. This moment has been poorly building for two movies and their physical battle lasts no more than 90 seconds. I mean, why bother?


Rather than focus on the supposedly very complex and dark past of Christian Grey, they focus on that ludicrous subplot. But don’t worry, Foley doesn’t want anyone going home upset. They try to give Grey closure with his past and his mother in the last five minutes of the movie.


My issue with this is that earlier in the movie there is a roughly 20-minute sequence where the characters are in Aspen that leads to absolutely nothing. Sure, a character gets engaged, but that doesn’t drive the story – it’s just killing time.


There is another subplot, the details of which I won’t spoil, that is just used as a plot device—not something used to dive deeper into these characters. I know I said nothing happens in this movie, but I guess I meant to say nothing important happens in this movie.


A perfect analogy would be listening to dead air on the radio. Sure, it fills the silence, but is it really something you want to spend your time on?


“Fifty Shades Freed” fails mostly because of poor storytelling. Yeah, the acting isn’t great and the editing is sloppy, but the story itself holds no depth, nothing for the audience to truly latch on to.


The tagline for the film is “don’t miss the climax.” I think you are better off faking a headache and going to bed early.


0.5 out of 4 stars

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