Friday, March 2, 2018

Fifty Shades Freed Movie Review: Will Not Disappoint Those Who Enjoy Watching Scenes Of Nudity, Bondage, Sado-Masochism With The Leads Who Have No Qualms About Nudity

FIFTY SHADES FREED is the third and last installment in E.L. James’ trilogy of sexy books. Those who have read all the books are naturally much more deeply involved with it and would want to see the final movie, but we’ve asked those who have not read it and they say they couldn’t care less if they don’t get to see this third film.

The truth is that the story of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) have officially ended in the second film, “Fifty Shades Darker”, with Grey being redeemed from his sexual deviations by his love for Ana, whose own story arc has ended from being a virgin and naive student to a liberated, sexually uninhibited lover. But it’s not easy to let go of the franchise when they can still milk it for more revenue, so they have to cook up new conflicts for the couple, even if this third film is actually anti-climactic.

The new movie opens with their wedding, which is usually the ending of most film romances. For
their honeymoon, they go to Paris and Monaco. They can just live happily ever after but first, they have to cope with some post-wedding shenanigans, like whether or not Anastasia will change her name from Steele to Grey.



Of course, such silly conflicts are not enough to sustain our interest as viewers, so someone from Ana’s past has to reappear to turn the movie into a cheap thriller. This is her former boss, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), who lost his job then as editor after he tried to sexually harass her. He wants revenge for losing his career and, as it turns out, for something else as it’s revealed that he and Grey have already known each other as kids.

So Erick stalks Ana, gets jailed for barging into her home with Grey, but manages to post bail and then resorts to kidnapping and asking for a ransom of $5 million. It feels so forced, just like Natalie Hart also suddenly losing all her marbles near the end of “Sin Island”.

But the real attraction of the “Fifty Shades” franchise, which is about pushing the boundaries of sensual pleasure, are the scenes that show the leads taking off their clothes and having BDSM elements (bondage, dominance, sado-masochism) in their kinky bedscenes. And in this aspect, the movie surely will not disappoint those who are seeking guilty pleasures as it provides enough eye candy.

As far as bare flesh requirement goes, they both get ample screen exposure, with Dakota displaying her boobies at regularly intervals. No wonder the movie is not shown at the prudish SM Cinemas. But the nudity notwithstanding, we find the bed scenes not that steamy and lacking in truly sizzling eroticism. It’s as if the two leads are just going through the motions.

Further complications occur when Ana forgets about birth control which shows how Grey can be so controlling as he’s afraid to be a dad. Ana also gets jealous over some pretty architect who seems to be flirting with Grey. There are some other minor conflicts, but this is all just a ploy to make things a bit more exciting so that they can get back together once more.

Will the erotic trilogy help in boosting the acting careers of its lead actors? Did Kirsten Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner’s careers zoomed to superstardom after the “Twilight” trilogy (which was actually made into four movies since the last novel was divided into two parts)? Dornan clearly struggles through his role as Grey and here, he even sings Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” but we’re not really amazed. Truth to tell, the guy he got to play Ana’s bodyguard looks more attractive and interesting than him.

It’s Dakota Johnson who fares better as she manages to make Ana more sympathetic and lifelike than the character in the novels. It’s to her credit that after the first film, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, she managed to appear in many other films, the most notable of which is “Black Mass” as Johnny Depp’s wife, “A Bigger Splash” and “How to Be Single”.

And right after “Freed”, she is scheduled to be seen in a lot more forthcoming films like the horror flick “Suspiria”, “The Peanut Butter Falcon” and “Bad Times at El Royale”. Clearly, this daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith has much more to offer and here’s hoping she can get better materials and directors to further hone her craft now that she has finally been freed from her Ana Steele breakout role.

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