‘Fifty Shades Freed’ is a Funny, Flaccid Finale

GameStop, Inc.

Fifty Shades Freed

Have our societal standards fallen so low that we’ll allow just any form of smut on the screen? The final film in the series of films based on the books by E.L. James, Fifty Shades Freed, indulges in the worst kind of pornographic fantasy to mar the screen in recent memory. I’m not taking about the film’s sexual content, oh no, I’m talking about the grotesque form of capitalism porn that runs through the film’s tone deaf escapism. While James Foley’s second film in the Fifty Shades series features plenty of sexual situations and nudity, it abandons the interest in BDSM that drove interest in the series in the first place in favor of the kind of sexual situations that might deemed kinky by a Republican from Utah.

Fifty Shades Freed opens up with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) exchanging wedding vows before heading off on their honeymoon, a journey in a private jet that takes the characters to Paris and French Rivera before the credits are done. It presents Fifty Shades Freed, as well as its predecessors, as movies rooted in class fantasy, as if some hunky heir can swoop into your life and rescue from a life of mediocrity and the only price you have to pay is a little bit of kinky sex.

In the previous film, Christian purchased the publishing firm that Anastasia worked at and fired her former boss Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) after an attempt sexual assault. Hyde is now consumed with vengeance and is out to terrorize Christian and Anastasia in myriad of ways, including breaking and entering, arson, and kidnapping of a minor, unmemorable character. Further complicating the relationship of these newlyweds is the fact that Anastasia finds out she’s pregnant. Apparently, this loving couple didn’t discuss the prospect of children prior to exchanging wedding vows and the news isn’t warmly greeted by Christian, who accuses his bride of choosing their unborn child over him. It’s another example of Fifty Shades Freed taking place in a world that doesn’t resemble reality and characters who behave like some kind of alien creatures.

It’s that almost alien sensibility that makes Fifty Shade Freed somewhat watchable even though it’s a movie of escalating absurdity and flaccid eroticism. Director James Foley and screenwriter Niall Leonard (the husband of the books’ author and the movie’s producer E.L. James) strike a tone that is almost to the level of Airplane! or The Naked Gun. The actors, bless their contractually obligated hearts, play these bizarre moments in complete earnestness, never cracking the serious façade that the movie is so desperate to maintain.

Compounding the film’s absurdism is the way with which it relies on coincidence for so much of its plot functions. It just so happens that Christian and the nefarious Jack Hyde were each in the same orphanage around Detroit, and that ludicrous backstory has the successful Harvard educated Hyde seeking revenge on Christian for the life of privilege that he believes should’ve been his. Giving any of this stuff just a second of thought results in bewildered laughter. The dramatic (if we’re being generous) conclusion of Fifty Shades Freed involves a kidnapping perpetrated by Hyde on such a minor supporting character that it’s difficult to remember who this character is before their abduction has been resolved.

The first film in the series directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey, was film of uneven tone, a behind the scenes struggle between Taylor-Johnson and E.L. James that ended with Taylor-Johnson removed even though the first film was a runaway success. The sequels were shot back-to-back with Glengarry Glen Ross director James Foley stepping into direct and James’ husband adapting her books. These two sequels massively shift the perspective of the film’s sexual gaze, transforming a series intended for women to be dominated by the male gaze – Foley’s lens pays much more attention to Dakota Johnson’s naked body than the chiseled muscles of her male costar. Combined with the film’s borderline parodic tone, it makes you wonder who these last two Fifty Shades movies are for. Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t a good movie, but it obviously spoke to its audience in a way that these two sequels are just utterly incapable of.

Fifty Shades Freed is as sexy as a pie fight, and just as funny. Its power as a fantasy isn’t rooted in its sexual situations but in its form as class escapism. Whips and chains aren’t the taboo that has appeal. It’s the idea of a hunk, who being adopted is freed from the familial guilt of any ethical lapses in his inherited wealth, with an ample bank account that can purchase your employer and free from your awful boss; a man who can swoop in and take you from a small apartment into a luxury penthouse full of all the amenities, and sex on yachts in international waters along with day trips to Aspen where he can sit behind the piano and serenade you with Wings songs. Fifty Shades Freed is simply a bumbling work of class fantasy masquerading as would-be erotica. Over the course of three films, the Fifty Shades series devolved from a BDSM romance with a conflicted personality to a bland wealth fantasy with plenty of T&A and unintentional humor.

Fifty Shades Freed
  • Overall Score
2

Summary

The flaccid finale of the Fifty Shades series, Fifty Shades Freed is a class fantasy masquerading as erotica and more often than not veers into unintentional comedy.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Wednesday’ Comes to Blu-ray on Tuesday from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

‘Wednesday‘ Comes to Blu-ray on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, from Warner...

Toy Lei Talks About Playing Auntie Victoria in ‘The Brothers Sun’ – Interview Rewind

Asian-American actress Toy Lei stars as Auntie Victoria in the new...

Marcus Massey Talks ‘Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2’ – Interview

Marcus Massey Shares his Wisdom as Owl in ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and...

Event News Event Reviews
‘MJ the Musical’ Chronicles the Life of the ‘King of Pop’ Running at Segerstrom – Review

‘MJ the Musical‘ is the Ultimate Stage Adaptation, Chronicling the life...

Aiden Sinclair and Michael Rangel Talks ’57 Ghosts’ Aboard the Queen Mary Séance

Aiden Sinclair and Apparitionist, Michael Rangel Discuss their new Theatrical Séance...

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open ‘Slashers Axe Throwing’ – Interview

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open Orange County’s first ever horror themed...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre – Interview

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre on Sunday,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse, battle at the Infernal gate pt 2

Oh Bruh, you did NOT just quote "Predator"!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Battle at the Infernal Gate pt 1

NO NATURAL PREDATORS!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – SID SPEAKS!

"We Demons! Let's go CRUNK on this punk-ass world!"

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...