Friday, February 9, 2018

Fifty Shades Freed - Review

On the bright side, at least Fifty Shades Freed isn’t split into two parts. The finale of the most unlikely franchise comes around to grace us with its presence one last time. The optimistic angle means hoping and praying that the threequel can be just a bit better than the predecessors, even if that doesn’t mean much in the long run.

Believing they've left behind the shadowy figures from the past, billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and his new wife, Anastasia (Dakota Johnson), fully embrace their inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. Just as the Greys begin to step into their new roles, sinister events come to light and jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.

The story, if you can call it that, is completely as nonsensical and erratic as you’d expect from the franchise based on a novel that started as Twilight fanfiction. In a never-ending cycle of conflict, resolution, and then conflict again, the franchise is nothing if not consistent. And rather than be what it apparently wants to be, a steamy albeit hollow romance film, it rattles up these melodramatic moments better suited for daytime television, complete with faulty logic and confusing moments.

Dakota Johnson is a good actress. And I’ve heard decent things about Jaime Dornan from his show, The Fall. But the greatest thespians in Hollywood couldn’t save this dialogue. At this point we know the characters are never going to actually develop. Bella Ana will continue to trust the man that continually lies. And Edward Christian will continue to keep secrets despite claiming to need Ana. One has to imagine that the dialogue is even worse on the page, which begs the question: how did this become a worldwide phenomenon?

Although I may have delivered compliments to Dornan and Johnson before, that doesn’t change the fact that their chemistry isn’t any better three films in. It appears better but that feels more about them coming to terms with their roles (or being thankful its finally over). Not an ounce of the film feels the least romantic or “erotic”, delving into kidnapping plots and marriage drama with occasional music from the soundtrack played over characters portraying “emotion”.

Overall, Fifty Shades Freed does not do anything different from the first two and continues the franchise streak of being one of the worst of their respective years. Yes, I know we’re only two months into 2018, but if Fifty Shades Freed doesn’t make most people’s worst of the list year it’ll be due to the sheer forgettable nature of it. The biggest positive from the film has to be that the two leads are finally freed from this horrendous franchise.

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