Fifty Shades Freed review: The final film in the series comes to cinemas, but can the franchise redeem itself with its climax?

Fifty Shades Freed review by Awais Irfan.

Fifty Shades Freed review
Fifty Shades Freed review

We’ve finally made it, folks. 3 years of suffering are over as the Fifty Shades reaches its climax with Fifty Shades Freed – why Freed? Because we are free of the pain.

Well, the only catch is that, sadly, to reach that freedom, we have yet another one of these things to endure before we get there – just our luck. The annual ‘Fifty Shades’ hate has sort of become a bit of a fad but it’s not without reason because the first two films were, each in their own right, awful. And whilst Freed may very well be the best of the three, that’s not saying much. Especially given the fact that it is still truly insufferable. But, then again, did we expect anything else? It’s not as if the trilogy was going to end with a decent film; of course not, that’s too much to ask of a Fifty Shades film.

Related: Fifty Shades Darker review

The trouble, however, is that we’re three films in now and there’s nothing left to say about them that hasn’t been said already; Freed suffers the exact same problems that both its predecessors did – they’re all basically the same film, with small plot details altered here and there. This time around Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) have gotten married; they live their luxurious life of sex and wealth, but trouble starts to stir when the Greys find themselves with a stalker after them, which causes conflict and tension to rise between the pair too – because it’s not a Fifty Shades film if their relationship isn’t put through the wringer.

Fifty Shades Freed review
Fifty Shades Freed review

Honestly, this does just feel like a rehash of the previous story with slight tweaks here and there. It’s evident that the writing hasn’t improved; the screenplay is sadly awful. Not only is the story convoluted as ever (nothing makes sense, and things just sort of happen without much explanation and implication) but the dialogue is cringe-worthy and, quite frankly, laughably bad at times. The acting is equally as terrible and one-dimensional – Dornan and Johnson still have no chemistry or spark to make their relationship even somewhat believable. The characters are insufferable; they’re childish and frustrating, there’s a painful contrivance to their supposed lustful and romantically sweeping nature and relationship – which any sane person can see is remarkably toxic. Yet the film glorifies the estranged power dynamic and the unhealthy aspects of this marriage and assumes that we are invested enough into the unusual sexual antics of the pair to not notice and just root for them to persevere and stay in love.

Fifty Shades Freed review
Fifty Shades Freed review

I will give the film some credit (not a line I ever thought I’d say when talking about Fifty Shades) for its impressive production value. The film is visually appealing and makes use of some pretty shots and cinematography. But it’s still painfully unsexy and unromantic. The novelty of the playroom and the BDSM has worn off now and it’s just awkward to watch, more so given its evident neither Johnson or Dornan want to be there (this is definitely just a film to pay the bills). It feels forced and unnatural too which makes it even worse to watch. There is even a thriller subplot thrown into the mix and it doesn’t work at all. It adds nothing. It doesn’t work. It feels misplaced. We don’t care. We don’t care about anything in this film. We’ve never cared about anything in any Fifty Shades film. It’s awful. It’s boring. They’re all awful and boring. I hate these films. But it’s over. We are FINALLY free. Hallelujah.

Fifty Shades Freed review by Awais Irfan, February 2018.

Fifty Shades Freed is released in UK cinemas on Friday 9th February 2018.

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Fifty Shades Freed