Review: Fifty Shades Freed

How do you review a purposely review proof film? You just switch your brain off and roll with it, right? Well, this particular finale goes out never really gunning for the sheer level of ridiculousness it had the potential to. What should’ve been a balls-to-the-wall campfestacular is a middling, naggy, rote Mills and Boon farewell.

I always felt it kind of harsh that Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker copped Razzie Nominations for being bad. To me, the film makers all knew what trash they were making so they just embraced. As ‘bad’ as the first two entries are, they solidly fall into the ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ category for this author. The brazenly bad dialogue, ridiculously opulent settings, ludicrous white privilege orgasmia and a showcase of uniform terrible acting all add up to a laugh riot for me. So I entered, quite unashamedly, the cinema by myself amidst a sea of giggling and gossippy ladies all hoping for that final, ecstatic climax and, let’s face it, a glimpse of Jamie Dornan’s wang..

Well, let me burst the bubble. You’re going to be disappointed on both fronts. Starting off with a wedding that sees our sexually charged (but somehow not really) lovers Ana and Christian tie the knot, the film then becomes a contiki tour of Paris for rich white people as the strangely emotionally disconnected yet very much in love pair enjoy their honeymoon with expected restrained bonking scenes that bore rather than titillate.

Then it’s back to upper class America via a sterilised Aspen and impossible McMansion in Seattle to establish domestic bliss for the lovers. And it’s here, after it’s dull opening, that Fifty Shades Freed collapses under its own doldrums. It might be the source material, I have not read the books, but returning director James Foley and returning screenwriter Niall Leonard have no idea what to actually do for dramatic purpose from here on.

The film meanders, attempting to utilise former lovers and jilted exes as potential threats but lines them up and disposes of them in ten minute sort-of vignettes that have no meaning or resonance to the overall story.

It also feels strangely sexless, there’s no eroticism or sexual chemistry present here. The sex scenes are both boring and passe. And, whilst the sexual politics in this story has always been questionable at best, it is the trump card of the franchise that’s never been even remotely executed properly.

Both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are phoning it is, feeling the weight of the saccharine heavy dross rather than playing up its silliness. They are bored. It’s obvious. And it really shows here.

Fifty Shades Freed acts more as a liberation for the cast and crew whom never have to resume their roles in this again. It’s sad because, had they embraced the camp, revved up the sex and gone for the throat with the silliness, this could’ve been the closer to end all closers..

★★

FIFTY SHADES FREED is in CINEMAS NOW!