Fifty Shades Freed Review
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Ever since author E. L. James first published Fifty Shades of Grey, the series—and the film adaptations—have had a somewhat rabid following. And as another Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s time for those loyal followers to take one final trip to Christian’s infamous Red Room in Fifty Shades Freed.

Fifty Shades Freed opens with a wedding. But Christian and Ana (Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson) are forced to cut their honeymoon short when they’re informed of a break-in and a fire at Christian’s office. It seems that Ana’s former boss, Jake Hyde (Eric Johnson), has come back for revenge. And as the Greys return home and work to settle into the give and take of married life, Christian heightens security for Ana and the rest of his family, desperate to protect those he loves.

In this final film in the over-hyped trilogy, the female fantasy is complete. Ana has transformed from dull and frumpy to strong and successful—the kind of woman who’s able to stand up for herself and turn the cold, controlling, and commitment-phobic man of her dreams into a lovesick husband who enjoys buying her things and whisking her away to fabulous vacations on his (their) private jet. He’s rich, he’s handsome, he has six-pack abs, he plays the piano, and he’s madly, passionately obsessed with her (in a way that, let’s be honest here, is still pretty creepy). It’s all so shamelessly contrived and unrealistic that it’s just plain laughable.

Fortunately, the final film isn’t quite as dull as the first. There’s a little bit of action and intrigue—completely with awkward high-speed chases—as the couple is forced to deal with an irrationally vengeful blast from the past. There’s relationship drama, too—and plenty of trips to the Red Room—but all of it feels weak and entirely inconsequential.

But the problems with this franchise are much greater than the fact that the story doesn’t really go anywhere. After three films, the writing hasn’t gotten any better. It’s still filled with ridiculous situations and unnatural dialogue. The characters generally act like children pretending to be grown-ups. And the acting is still painfully bad. So while the characters’ roles may have changed throughout the series, little else has.

Like the rest of the series, Fifty Shades Freed is little more than an over-priced soap opera on the big screen. Though the series finale may promise an explosive climax, it’s still every bit as awkward and uncomfortable as its predecessors.

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