Entertainment » Movies

Fifty Shades Freed

by Charles Nash
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Feb 9, 2018
'Fifty Shades Freed'
'Fifty Shades Freed'  

For a franchise sold entirely on embracing taboo sexual fantasies, it's sort of baffling that the "Fifty Shades" films are so dreadfully, interminably dull. Nobody expected these adaptations of E.L. James' bestselling erotica novels to be high art, but the fact that they're too afraid to revel in their silliness, or even feel the slightest bit dangerous, is what ultimately makes them so (ahem) limp. They're the worst kind of bad movies: Glossy, sanitized and ashamed of their own identities.

"Fifty Shades Freed," the third and (thankfully) final chapter, starts with our robotic lovebirds -- billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and publisher Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) -- exchanging vows in Europe. Neither party, however, seems to have pondered the fact that marriage results in big, life-changing possibilities, such as having kids or changing one's name, because apparently, this is what constituted as logical melodrama in the books. Oh, and Ana's ex-boss, Jack Hyde (Jack Hyde) somehow became a criminal mastermind and is bent on destroying their lives for vague reasons.

As for the sex? Not only is it shockingly tame, and conveyed through visually flat compositions, but it's hardly an integrating factor to the arcs of these characters anymore. The plot is more prioritized with their transition into domesticity, and the gender politics of their toxic relationship are just as sleazy as the objectification of Johnson's body through the male gaze. (Director James Foley took over from Sam Taylor-Johnson after the first installment, and it shows.)

I can't think of a more defining moment to sum up this trilogy than when Christian finds Ana up late one night, eating vanilla ice cream before they slather it on each other and lick it up. If it's meant to be an ironic twist on these characters adapting into "vanilla sex," it's not clever. If it's meant to be played straight, it's anything but sensual. Either way, it's completely bland, and with the lack of mainstream films that attempt to depict sexuality through a positive light, we deserve better flavors.

Fifty Shades Freed

Believing they've left behind the shadowy figures from the past, billionaire Christian Grey and his new wife, Anastasia, fully embrace their inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. Just as the Greys begin to step into their new roles, sinister events come to light and jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.


Runtime :: 105 mins
Release Date :: Feb 09, 2018
Language :: Silent
Country :: United States


Anastasia Steele :: Dakota Johnson
Christian Grey :: Jamie Dornan
Jack Hyde :: Eric Johnson
Mia Grey :: Rita Ora
Elliot Grey :: Luke Grimes
José :: Victor Rasuk
Carla :: Jennifer Ehle
Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey :: Marcia Harden
Kate Kavanagh :: Eloise Mumford
Taylor :: Max Martini
Gia Matteo :: Arielle Kebbel
Sawyer :: Brant Daugherty
Liz :: Amy Price-Francis
Boyce Fox :: Tyler Hoechlin
Carrick Grey :: Andrew Airlie
Ray Steele :: Callum Rennie
Jerry Roach :: Bruce Altman
Gail Jones :: Fay Masterson
Ros Bailey :: Robinne Lee
Hannah :: Ashleigh LaThrop
John Lincoln :: Gary Hudson


Director :: James Foley
Screenwriter :: Niall Leonard
Producer :: Michael De Luca
Producer :: E.L. James
Producer :: Dana Brunetti
Producer :: Marcus Viscidi
Cinematographer :: John Schwartzman
Film Editor :: Richard Francis-Bruce
Film Editor :: Debra Neil-Fisher
Original Music :: Danny Elfman
Production Design :: Nelson Coates
Costume Designer :: Shay Cunliffe
Casting :: Laray Mayfield
Casting :: Julie Schubert


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