Fifty Shades Freed Review – Steamy Fetish Romp; Strong Story; Lacks Substance

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Fifty Shades Freed, the final installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy, opens with Christian and Anastasia exchanging vows, celebrating the beginning of their new lives each still haunted by the past that just won't leave them alone.

Directed by James Foley, Fifty Shades Freed stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Max Martini, Jennifer Ehle, Arielle Kebbel, Bruce Altman, Asleigh LaThrop, Amy Price-Francis, Brant Daugherty and Marcia Gay Harden. Written for the screen by Niall Leonard Fifty Shades Freed is based on the novel by E.L. James.

Fifty Shades Freed begins with the weeding fans have been waiting for as Anastasia, played by Dakota Johnson, and Christian, played by Jamie Dornan, as the two exchange vows dedicating themselves to each other.

After, as one would expect he plans a Parisian honeymoon which is filled with typical tourist attractions, fine wine, art, museums and simple pleasure for a man of limitless means. They end at the coast when the newlywed romance becomes cloudy. Anastasia has never taken to direct orders and she maintains her independence.


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Trying to curb her independence builds up the film to the first bondage sex scene in the film. Even as it was consensual, a look passes over Anastasia face when she is shown the shackles, as if she were thinking, "Aren't we beyond this yet?"

The two receive a SKYPE call from the headquarters, someone had set a fire sabotaging the data system and escape with personal files and other sensitive information. With the unrest at Grey Headquarters the honeymoon is cut short and the two are back in Seattle.

Life as Mrs. Grey, is somewhat unsettling and like all marriages presents its challenges as each come to terms with the changes in the boundary lines. For Anastasia, the world is obviously treating her different: new found respect, personal security, employment promotion, household staff.

Life as Mr. Grey also had adjustments, with Christian not understanding why his wife won't listen to him when he explicitly tells her exactly what she should do (in her best interest, of course) and when she "disobeys" him he then is forced to take her to the red room. Most would each had compromises to make to work out the authoritarian approach to their marriage.

For the legions of fans of the Fifty Shades trilogy the Red Room is Christian's fetish closet, with a complete selection of every sexual accessory known and some that would leave one wondering. The relationship between the two has always included the trips to the Red Room and this installment is no different.

As most know Anastasia's first boss, Jack Hyde, played by Eric Johnson, at her publishing job tried to sexually assault her and when Christian bought the company, he was fired. His hatred and revenge over losing his employment escalates which plays out throughout the film.

Fifty Shades Freed gives the audience what they want and what has brought them back repeatedly to the box office. The film has a strong three strand storyline which made it, for me, easier to watch. The fetish sex is not my thing and even presented in films, I wrestle with the message.


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Overall, I did enjoy the film. Fetishes aside, the plot is clearly believable, the past, for some, especially those at the top or making their way up the ladder, often refuses to be buried.

Fifty Shades presented many of the aspects that tantalize and tease people everywhere, fast cars, palatial homes, a rocking penthouse apartment with a water view, with all the trimmings, and a tech company that takes off at supersonic speed. Lifestyles of the rich and tech famous in Seattle.

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reprise their roles and as the two have a history they also enjoy a freedom which translates well. We see much more of Ms. Johnson, which is very brave and couragous for the young actress, than in the previous two adaptations and down to there on him. I feel a little less nudity and just a bit more substance would have pushed this film teetering on the edge of hit or miss deep into the hit zone. 

Rita Ora is back as Mia Gray, Christian's sister and although her role appears to be smaller, at the end her role is crucial. Marica Gay Harden, is also back as Christian's mother, and able to be the one person who provides infinite wisdom, as he reverts to the past to talk him through that first big argument  that lands him alone in bed or her on the couch.

There are many aspects to Fifty Shades Freed that are appealing movie goers everywhere understand that somewhere in this solid storyline there will be extreme nudity, fetish sex, dominance and everything that goes along with that

As the global gross for the triology passess $1billion and the weekend gross for Fifty Shades  Freed easily hits $137million, fans are flocking to the theaters in droves.

And still as we see sometimes from our characters who enjoy intimacy on many different levels at times it is ecstatic and other times it just is. This time it just is.

Fifty Shades Freed opens in theaters globally February 9, 2018. See it if you dare.

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