Fifty Shades Freed (hereafter simply referred to as “Freed”) is directed by James Foley, based on EL James’ novel. It is the third and final installment in the Fifty Shades series, and stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.
Ana and Christian Grey have finally been married, and set out to live a life together as man and wife, juggling their erotic experiences with their working lives. Ana wants to continue to pursue her career as a book editor, as their wants for the future clash in their newfound married life. Things take a devastating spiral when a figure from Ana’s past resurfaces, threatening to plunge their lives into chaos.
The Fifty Shades series, be it the books or the films, are not exactly known for solid storylines and Oscar-worthy storytelling; they are basically soft-core porn with the barest (pardon the bad joke) semblance of a storyline. Freed is no different; every non-erotic scene feels like filler with one-dimensional characters, connecting the more erotic scenes. This is not a great film, but the exotic locations, sensual scenes, and a handful of memorable one liners make the movie a decent experience that has a “so bad it’s good” quality.
I will give the film credit for its lead actors; Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan both look great, and steal the show in every scene they are in, with the erotic scenes being a definite highlight. These scenes definitely excite and thrill, and it is a shame that nothing else in the movie can compare to these moments. Both of them do their best with the material they are given, and do manage to both entertain and arouse; it is just too bad the latter half of the film cuts back on said material.
The movie manages to be unintentionally hilarious with scenes that have unnecessary tertiary characters, and subplots and plot elements that are introduced and never revisited again. The narrative is as predictable as they come, but the script does manage to sneak in some good one liners throughout that, admittedly, got a few laughs out of this moviegoer.
In Freed, we get solid performances from the leads, particularly in the bedroom. But there is barely a plot to speak of, and what little is there just seems to serve no other purpose than to connect the scenes of erotica. One-dimensional tertiary characters and subplots drag the experience down, but in the end, it manages to feel like a laughable soft-core porn experience with a priceless “so bad it’s good” quality. Put simply, what you see is what you get. Here’s hoping the eventual home video release has a “Watch Erotic Scenes Only” option!
Rating: Two out of four stars.
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