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Movie Review


Fifty Shades Freed
Dir: James Foley
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Max Martini, Jennifer Ehle, Arielle Kebbel, and Marcia Gay Harden
Monte’s Rating
0.50 out of 5.00

Monte Yazzie
Movie Columnist

At the end of “Fifty Shades Darker,” the sequel to the 2015  hit “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Anastasia Steele was being proposed to by Christian Grey. The couple, dealing with the kind of relationship complications that would spell doom for any new romance, haven’t grown much since their first meeting.  Anastasia received a job promotion along with some dangerous extra baggage brought on by her new relationship. Also, Christian found a way to retain his submissive to satisfy his sexual proclivities; and that’s really all that has happened.

In “Fifty Shades Freed,” the climax of the film trilogy, things only get more complicated for Mr. and Mrs. Grey. Marriage brings all the staggering concerns for this new couple in the first few months of their newfound status; threats of infidelity, struggles with living in each other's space, finding a new home, and the issue of planning for a family, it all happens to the Grey’s. Amidst all of this is the threat of a past foe, a jaded boss (Eric Johnson) of Anastasia who is looking for revenge.

Let’s get this out of the way first and foremost, this film is terrible. There is no clearer way to say it. Relationships are complicated because people are complicated. But that is also what makes relationships so magical. Two people with ambitions and dreams, with past’s that have shaped and molded them over the course of time. Each with their own ideas of what it means to love while colliding with one another deciding that they are going combine all these individualistic elements together in an attempt to find someone they can spend moments of their lives together with. It is magic.

Aside from the fantasy of fast cars, big houses, private airplanes, expensive trips, and money that allows you to do and say anything you want, “Fifty Shades Freed” has characters that should be experiencing a wealth of fascinating and intriguing emotions. Ones that would make a relationship that is founded primarily on sexuality erupt with passion and sexiness. This film never taps into any of those qualities, and even when it has the perfect opportunity to invest substance into the characters and relationship it instead takes unrealistic moves to sidestep the complexities that make relationships so unique.

It’s no spoiler that mature subject matter will be displayed on screen, people are going to indulge in sexual intercourse. Nudity has power in filmmaking, it has the power to paint characters with a range of motivations. For Dakota Johnson’s character, who is the only character to have nude scenes in the film, the nudity never offers her any kind of power or vulnerability. Instead she simply becomes part of the environment. That’s a major flaw because Dakota Johnson is a talented actress who deserves something better than what was provided here.

Yes, “Fifty Shades Freed” is fantasy, a nearly two-hour opportunity to escape the world you live in. However, that’s also the problem. Perhaps the most distressing aspect of “Fifty Shades Freed” lies in the current culture of our country. In a world where women have been deprived of power, stories about rich men getting whatever they want because of the family they belong to, the money they have accumulated, or the entitlement of power they believe they possess just feels idiotic. Take away the fast cars, the big house, the deep pockets, and Christian Grey isn’t Prince Charming, he is merely a creep. End of story.