Here we go again, my friends! I once again enlisted the aid of a friend to go back for more of the 50 Shades experience. As I stated before my 50 Shades of Grey review, if you’re excited to see this movie, nothing I say will change your mind. I hope, maybe, to spare a few innocents, and perhaps entertain you all.
I will say up front that 50 Shades Freed was better than the first 50 Shades movie. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the acting has improved a bit and is less wooden than on the initial outing. Second, Harkins Tempe Marketplace, where the film was screened, sells alcohol (I gave the movie an extra half star for that). As my friend said, “At least there was some excitement this time. Someone got shot.”
We begin during the reciting of vows at the wedding of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). She’s wearing a beautiful dress and there’s a sea of faces, featuring friends and family members, that are so happy to be there. From there we are whisked off to a waiting private jet. Ana says “I didn’t know you owned a jet.” Oh Ana, the things you don’t know. For example, how his helicopter was sabotaged in the last movie, and how he doesn’t want to have kids, how he doesn’t want her to work. Well, basically, any of the trivial things that you should know about and discuss with someone before you marry them.
Good thing her motto for relationships isn’t “Talk, listen, and work stuff out.” Oh, wait…
But I digress. After the commercial for a honeymoon vacation in Europe, where Ana disobeys Christian by sunbathing topless and is punished by the same boring sex as the first film. Well, there *was* less foreplay, maybe that’s the punishment. After this comes the Audi commercial for the R8 coupe, and the Q7 SUV. I have to admit that the driving scenes were the sexiest part of the movie for me. And *far* more of a fantasy.
There were a few fun moments, some of them were even intentional, such as Ana shutting down an overly familiar female architect flirting with her man. There was also a scene in the boutique during the Aspen commercial portion of the movie. Someone needed to bring some spray bottles to this movie for the cattiness! Then comes the subplot of the baddie from the middle movie, coming back to try to get his life back. I may have been spoiled by better movies that I’ve been screening later, but it is *really* difficult to make a revenge/suspense/stalker/kidnapping this boring. Maybe I’m just jaded because Ana married and fell in love with the *first* creepy, stalkerish, obsessive type she met.
There is not a climax in this movie that is exciting at all. *wink wink* Dornan does a better job of muddling through the stilted dialogue that Johnson ever does, and he even shows emotion! At one point he cries, which elicited a hearty laugh from much of the audience.
At the end of the movie, we have a BDSM romance thriller, with no BDSM, thrills in the Audi only, and negligible romance. It’s there, I suppose, but only in the smallest of amounts, and by very small standards.
I talked to several groups of the women who were there to see it, and my thinking is that this must be like a glass of lukewarm, rusty tasting water to someone who has been without anything to drink for days. Their desire for a romance, even this excuse for one, is palpable. It made me think about all the dating horror stories that my friends and I have shared, and I do feel bad for people whose aspiration is a romance like this.
As I did last time, here are my friend’s thoughts on the movie: (Stated in the film)
- Audi has excellent product placement.
- That shower makes no sense at all.
- Even the ice cream they used (to lick off of each other) is vanilla!
- Must be nice to have your own padded cell in your apartment.
- This one didn’t suck nearly as bad as the first one.
- Depends on the denomination. ($5,000,000 in ransom money, “Bring extra bags, it more than you think it is.”)
- Burst out laughing when Christian tearfully asks, “Are you leaving me?”
And my thoughts: (Mostly aloud)
- I am SO glad I am not reading this.
- Is her punishment lazy foreplay and a quickie?
- This is the best Audi commercial I have ever watched!
- Follows the “good soundtrack: crappy movie” rule.
- These are the worst security guards ever!
- They don’t pay these security guards enough to have to follow these two boring people 24/7.
- Seriously? She uses her safeword to get out of orgasm denial? And then gets mad at the self-described sadist for thinking sadistically?
- That dress is the worst chain mail ever.
- Christian (Wakes up in an empty bed, walks downstairs and gets a drink from the fridge.) Ana (Sitting at a table behind him.) “Hey there.” Christian: “I’ve been looking for you.” Me: (Incredulously, and a bit too loudly) “In the REFRIGERATOR?
- How does this guy who is locked up have such styled hair? Do they have product in jail?
- Watching Christian Grey’s mom consoling him; “He looks more into his mom. I was sure they were going to start making out.”
- Ana figures out a plot point: “That must be what he (bad guy) meant.” Me: “THAT’S VERBATIM WHAT HE SAID TO YOU!”
- Judging from all the laughing during and after the movie, at least no one took it too seriously.
About 50 Shades Freed
Synopsis: Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.
Directors: James Foley
Writers: Niall Leonard (Screenplay), Based on the novel by E.L. James
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Max Martini, Eloise Mumford, Eric Johnson
Runtime: 1 Hour, 45 Minutes