“Fifty Shades Freed” (the title is nonsense) is the story of an entitled snob who marries a snob-in-training who enjoys being treated like garbage, apparently. None of their behavior, separately or together, makes any human sense. The plot of the film is really more of a subplot, comprising some 20-25 minutes of the 105-minute runtime, which is otherwise spent on the two snobs having irrational arguments about stupid things, pausing occasionally to have a bland version of kinky sex (sometimes they leave the lights on!).
The final installment in the adaptation of E.L. James’ bestselling trilogy of novels, again directed by James Foley from a screenplay by Niall Leonard, begins with the wedding of petulant Seattle billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and naive publishing dum-dum Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). Christian refers to the gathered friends and family as “riff-riff,” then whisks Ana to the airport, where his private jet awaits. “You own this?!” Ana asks, surprised to discover that her billionaire husband who owns a helicopter also owns a plane.
Their honeymoon is interrupted by the news that Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), Ana’s obsessed former co-worker, has broken into Christian Grey headquarters and stolen some data. Already paranoid and controlling (he won’t let Ana go topless at a topless beach), Christian assigns full-time security guards to every member of his family. When Jack Hyde breaks into Ana and Christian’s home, he is apprehended quickly and easily, in keeping with the franchise’s commitment to deflating every potentially interesting situation before it develops. Jack succeeds in abducting someone later in the film, and that, too, is defused like the movie is sorry it even brought it up.
But all of that is of secondary importance. The movie’s main purpose is to demonstrate that Christian is a jealous, immature wiener, but that this is OK because Ana is a moron. Or something. I’m actually not sure what the movie’s purpose is. You’d think it was to titillate women, but if that’s the case, why is there a ton of Dakota Johnson nudity and very little Jamie Dornan nudity? Anyway, let me tell you some of the dumb things Christian gets upset about in this movie:
– He is mad that Ana hasn’t yet changed her name from Steele to Grey. He discovers this when he tries to email her at work (Seattle Independent Publishing) using AnastasiaGrey@sip.com and it bounces back. Of course, he must have had her old address already saved, which means he went out of his way to use the new address as a test to see if it had been set up yet, presumably hoping it wouldn’t be so he’d have an excuse to act indignant. He barges into Ana’s office and forcibly ends a meeting she was having with a writer so he can yell at her about this.
– He is mad that Ana was nearly victimized by Jack Hyde. Christian is out of town when the break-in occurs, you see, and Ana had PROMISED him she’d go straight home after work so he’d know where she was. But she went out for drinks with a friend instead (begging her bodyguard not to tell Christian), and when she got home, Jack Hyde was waiting for her. This makes Christian VERY ANGRY! She points out that she was safer at the bar with her friend since home is WHERE THE BAD GUY WAS, but that’s beside the point, which is that she disobeyed Christian.
– He is mad when Ana accidentally gets pregnant. It truly is an accident (she’s well aware that Christian is nowhere near ready to be a father), but Christian is bitter because he just knows that stupid baby is going to take all of Ana’s time and attention and breasts.
But none of the red flags in the previous two movies scared Ana away, so why would she wise up now? She in for the long haul. The long, boring, low-stakes, smutty-but-not-erotic haul.
D (1 hr., 45 min.; )