I’m not going to lie. I had high hopes for Fifty Shades Freed. Not because I expected it to be good or anything, but because I went to Fifty Shades Darker last year with a friend and it was some of the funniest stuff I had seen in recent memory. Since all things are equal between the two, I wanted this one to also make me die laughing in my seat. And when the marketing first hit with one of my favorite taglines since Alien vs Predator – “Don’t miss the climax!” – I was prepared for a treat.
Alas, it didn’t pay off in the end. Freed, much like the previous two, is instantly forgettable. And frankly, more boring and frustrating than anything.
Whereas, in Darker, everybody – from the actors and writer down to the sound editor – was in on the joke that they were making a terrible movie, everybody in Freed just looks like they actively hate their lives. Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey for the third and final time, gives absolutely zero fucks while he stumbles around looking like he’s dead inside. He slips into his natural Irish accent so often that if I wasn’t paying explicit attention, I could swear Dakota Johnson (Anastasia) was doing it, too. Who knows? Maybe she was. Rumor has it, they abhor each other in reality, so maybe she was mocking him and somehow it made it into the final cut.
Part of me understands the appeal of the books these movies are based on. Sex sells! And sometimes, we want to escape our humdrum lives and wander into a world of wild, kinky, fantasy sex. But nobody gave that memo to the people making these movies. The sex scenes in Freed are so unsexy that I started to worry I might never get hard again. In fact, some of them are downright disgusting, like when they start covering each other in melted mint chocolate chip ice cream and licking it off. At one point, Christian goes to run a trail down Ana’s leg, but at first, it looks like he’s about to shove the spoon into her vagina. If he had, I’d have been out. It’s so unsanitary.
It also doesn’t help matters in the slightest that Christian is just a downright awful human being, and Ana is the clichéd I-love-him-so-much-and-I-can-change-him type. She’s naïve at best and clueless at worst. She does manage to briefly put her foot down in one scene when Christian uses a vibrator to violently tease her because she defied him and went out to have drinks with a friend after work, God forbid she have a life. “That isn’t love, Christian! That’s revenge!” she yells at him. “Don’t ever use the Red Room for punishment!” But even that fails to land because literally the line right before it, she was begging him to keep going.
I will give the movie props for one part. My favorite scene in Darker was a three-minute sequence dedicated to Christian showing Ana how to use Ben Wa balls and, assuming the worst, she just straight deadpans, “You are not putting those in my butt.” I was laughing so hard throughout the rest the movie that I probably came close to getting thrown out of the theater. In Freed, there’s a similar scene in the Red Room where Christian tells Ana to go to the “top drawer on the right.” She does, and she finds a ribbed, glass butt plug the size of my fist! Talk about 0 to 60! She swiftly turns to him and just says, “No.” If only she had reiterated, “You are not putting that in my butt.”
It’s bad, man. Really bad. Don’t waste your time. You can find better porn in 30 seconds flat if you go to Google and put in the barest minimum of effort.
And don’t waste your money. That aforementioned porn is usually free.
Fifty Shades Freed closes the door on the Red Room with 0.5 out of 5 Ben Wa balls. Damn, wrong movie.