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Fifty Shades Freed
Jack Bottomley, Media Correspondent
Based on the bestselling phenomenon that was E.L. James’ erotic Drama/Thriller novel series. The Fifty Shades film franchise is a curious phenomenom itself.

Highly publicised for its explicit sex scenes and fetishist subject matter, this financially successful but badly reviewed set of movies – like the books – have divided people but got a blockbusting degree of attention.

So, as we arrive at the final film of this trilogy, does Fifty Shades Freed go out on a high or a low? Well, you probably already know the answer to that.

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) tie the knot and try to adapt to a less hardcore life, outside of their BDSM bedroom kinks, as husband and wife. Though a dark reminder of their past resurfaces in Anastasia’s unhinged former boss Jack (Eric Johnson), who obsessively stalks the couple, as their marriage also faces some unexpected issues.

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Fifty Shades Freed, like this franchise as a whole, is highly discussed but much ado about nothing. The script is toothless, uninvolving and full of superficiality (and a couple of rather tame sex scenes), as we are urged to gape in jealousy at the nice things rich people can afford…we don’t.

Essentially a further heap of wealth porn, this finale is dodgily staged and, while it looks polished enough, the cinematography has nothing behind it. As the plot and characters are so thin and shallow that there is no emotional connection to be found within.

If you are coming for some naughty entertainment, you will leave disappointed as the film has very few actual romantic sequences and if you are craving a deep exploration of BDSM, you’d be better suited checking out films like last years fantastic Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, rather than this drab little nonsensical Channel 5 afternoon TV esque Drama.

The whole plot of Anastasia and Christian being tormented by a face from the past is practically forgotten about as the characters buy houses, go on private yachts and practically, to put it bluntly, twiddle their thumbs (and other body parts) for much of the running time.

Then, when we do reach the “grand climax”, it is resolved laughably easily, with two kicks and a gunshot. Even the moments that re-live the franchises greatest hits feel like a cruel reminder of how odd this saga has been, as it reminds us of how this central relationship was built on borderline abusive foundations.

The acting is pretty unmoving too, as Johnson and Dornan seem exhausted by the experience and ready to move on and Eric Johnson’s baddie is instantly forgettable. There are also a host of supporting performances by the likes of Eloise Mumford, Luke Grimes and Rita Ora, who are there to either go on holiday or get threatened or be kidnapped (delete as applicable).

From Danny Elfman’s unmemorable score, which is drowned out by over the top pop music, to the silly scenes of car chasing and sub-par thrills, this is less an exciting wail and more a painful last slap of a movie.

As we now sit at the end of three bad films, it is as though we all have been roundly punished and are left collectively sat on the naughty step wondering, “what have we done to deserve all that”?

Fifty Shades Freed (18)
Director: James Foley
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson
Release Date: Out Now

Fifty Shades Freed, 9th March 2018, 8:30 AM