For a film to meet your every expectation is very rare, but when I went into Fifty Shades Freed expecting a poorly executed, uninteresting film with characters lacking in charisma and chemistry, I was given just that. Admittedly, there was a small, tiny part of me that hoped for something better (mainly so I wouldn’t cry about the precious pounds I’d just spent on a cinema ticket) but also because surely, I thought, they would have at least tried to improve this one from its predecessors, especially after so much criticism. My hope, however, was in vain and my preconceived judgement right, initiating 1 hour and 45 minutes of torturous viewing.
Unsurprisingly, Fifty Shades Freed has many, many issues, but one of its biggest pitfalls is that the whole brand is built around this sexy, romantic relationship, when in fact it’s the complete opposite. Anastasia and Christian’s romance continues to be incredibly problematic, which just makes the whole idea of their relationship insufferable. In fact, you’re reminded just 5 minutes into runtime of how toxic their relationship is when Christian chastises Ana for showing too much skin, on a BEACH in FRANCE. From then on the eye rolls, looks of incredulity and continual glances to the watch take over, and you are left vacant as time passes much more slowly than it did before you stepped into the cinema.
To sum it all up, the sex scenes are awkward, the dialogue is painfully forced, the two main actors have no chemistry and the potentially interesting subplots are undermined by the lack of attention given to them and the fact you don’t really care about the characters. It’s not like Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are bad actors, and Johnson really does try to make Ana somewhat charismatic in this film, but when you’ve got a plot so devoid of character and full of cliches, there’s only so much you can do with it. It’s classic Twilight 2.0 (spoiler-there’s even a montage of their relationship near the end) and it seems, just like Robert Pattinson, no one seems to be more miserable talking about Fifty Shades than Jamie Dornan, which is definitely telling. To make it worse, they insist on having a different generic pop song accompanying every scene, which often seems out of place and does nothing to make the love scenes less awkward. All in all, there isn’t really a plot and it seems as though everyone involved really did give up on this one, but at least it’s the last one and we can push it to the back of our minds now it’s all over.
While this could not be described as a positive review, I have to say it did turn out to be an unexpected comedy in that it borders the ‘it’s so bad it’s almost funny’ genre. However, it was mostly just bad. My advice would be to save your money, make the right decision and go and see something (ANYTHING) else, because you just can’t get those minutes back once they’ve passed.
(Image courtesy of Universal)