Feeble ‘Freed’ finishes off Fifty Shades franchise

DAKOTA JOHNSON and JAMIE DORNAN return as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in "Fifty Shades Freed," the climactic chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. Bringing to a shocking conclusion events set in motion in 2015 and 2017’s blockbuster films that grossed almost $950 million globally, the film arrives for Valentine’s Day 2018. (Photo: Universal Pictures)

Fifty Shades Freed
1 out of 5 Stars
James Foley
Writer: Niall Leonard (screenplay), E.L. James (novel)
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Rated: R for strong sexual content, nudity, and language

Synopsis: Jack Hyde looks to bring unhappiness to newlyweds Anastasia and Christian.

Review: In “Return of the Killer Tomatoes,” a truly dreadful sequel to “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,” actor John Astin, dressed in his mad scientist’s white robe, turns his back to the audience to reveal a Pepsi advertisement with flashing lights on his back. It’s not a particularly funny moment, but it does effectively convey the in-your-face product placement that has become increasingly prominent in movies. It’s also the only moment I remember from “Return of the Killer Tomatoes.”

Product placement in “Fifty Shades Freed” is even less subtle as the film is loaded with blatant advertisements for a variety of companies and an extended pitch from a particular state’s tourism board. Between commercials we’re given either outrageous soap opera drama, or sex.

The dialog is terrible, the actors lack any sense of chemistry, the basic plot is ridiculous and director James Foley is apparently more passionate about cars than he is about people. The director appears to be going for the look that Tom Ford delivered in “Nocturnal Animals,” but he comes up short. There’s nothing vibrant about “Fifty Shades Freed,” it’s just a long slog of a film that I would have happily walked out of if I wasn’t obligated to stay until the end.

The saddest aspect of the film is that Dakota Johnson is a very good actress who deserves better, less exploitive roles. Go watch Jamie Dornan in “The Fall” television series, he’s also too talented to be chained to this franchise.

I understand that there is a fanbase out there that will love the film regardless of its flaws. That’s fine. Don’t let my opinion get in the way of your enjoyment. I’m just glad that I don’t have to sit through any more Fifty Shades films.

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