The international best seller that changed the world is a topic of much debate. Tasteless porn vs. incredible love story, this series has two extreme groups fighting for superiority on what is the truth to the Grey series. However, since many people don’t read these days, Hollywood has brought a visual representation to us to help stem the tide and get more people discussing the content of E.L James work. And so, yours truly, alongside some very kind friends, heads into the trenches to give you another review on what is what in the movies. Let’s get going!
The Romance: The romance, as the fans will call it, has finally improved to the levels many wanted it to be from the start. Fifty Shades Freed finally has our actor’s chemistry mixing well to portray a more realistic love story than what I’ve seen. Rather than bland, uninterested looks, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan finally have some heat into their acting actually seeming to love each other than just tolerate. The drama that fans want is packed into their on-screen time, a nice balance of overdramatic anger, passion, and desire in their little game of domination cat and mouse. While still unbelievable at times, the magic finally raised to a new level for the final installment.
The Jokes: Such a dark delicacy as this requires some more adult humor, and Fifty Shades Freed’s writing is able to bring this humor to full blast. Clever alliterations, metaphors, and puns are well integrated into the goopy, lovey dovy, romantic bologna this movie is famous for. These comedic devices are well-timed and well-delivered to maximize the punch that comes with it and had my friends and I chuckling. Had there been a few more of these moments, the movie’s writing might have gotten even more points for creativeness and magic.
Semi-Tasteful: Despite the sultry atmosphere contained in these films, the censorship is still decent enough to add some class to the movie. Rather than diving into the pornographic details that some of the fan-base loves, the movie keeps the camera work on the upper areas, straying away from the lower anatomy. Even the love making scenes have been tempered a bit to not dive into XXX levels, but it barely skims by this. Still, the small bit of class gets my nod of respect.
The Ending: My friends and I agreed that the nice little nod to the series as the end was a good way to cap of the series. Simplistic and predictable yes, but for those super fans, it is the emotional finesse you may have come to expect in the series. And for the beginning credit, and only clip, it’s the ending that had many in my showing ahhing in delight.
The Music: My final nod is at the director of music, who once again picks a slamming song track to represent the emotion of the scene. A combination of genres, the selections are worthy of another soundtrack worth purchasing, assuming you are into those kinds of things.
The Sex: Let’s get this out of the way. No surprise, I’m not the biggest fan of watching two actors make strong, awkward, and often strange sex fantasies come to life. And Fifty Shades Freed was more than happy to throw a lot of these vivid images at me. While a bit classy, these scenes didn’t fit into the story as much for me, nor did I really appreciate how fast and rapid they were crammed in. The positive side is that these montages are at most 3.5 minutes long, but I’ll never look at ice cream the same way again…. Ewwwww.
Secondary Characters: I don’t remember the books quite well, but I’m fairly certain the secondary cast goes farther than their cinematic doppelgangers. Yes, I know the story is mainly about the star-cross lusters, I mean lovers, but this supporting group of families and friends should be you know… more supportive. So why were much of the supporting band reduced to mere minutes of screen time with little to add to this tale? A few clips of beautiful people, a tempting dramatic flair that goes nowhere, a shallow proposal that is cute but lacking, and some shotty presentation of key story elements are all they contribute. After such integration in the first film, I had hoped for these components to strengthen as well, but they failed on this aspect for me outside of the fact that so many of them were pretty to look at.
Boring Tension: Let’s face it, the story is not the best part of these series, but I had hoped that the antagonist would have had more bite to his coiffed hair. Fifty Shares Freed did little to amplify the deadliness of Hyde, outside of making him look and sound even more insane. The promise of a man with more brains and strategy was lost to low grade soap opera antics that just served as an example of poor planning. I’ve seen better villains in a cheesy soap opera, and this anticlimactic climax was so disappointing to see fail. While many may not be looking for super excitement, this reviewer would have liked to see more bite than bark. Oh well, at least more room for love, right?
Overall, Fifty Shade Freed has improved in regards to the romance that this series has tried to sell. The heated passion between the main characters took some major steps towards progress in this series, alongside the jokes, the soundtrack, and the nicely packaged ending. However, the story itself is laughable, with all these plot points and known character diluted into less concentrated beings that are only there for a quick head nod out of the series. Fifty Shades Freed is a glorified soap opera on the big screen, and therefore not worth the price of admission in my opinion, no matter how passionate, emotional, and hot it may seem. Save this one for the privacy of your own home and your imagination.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 4.0