I never intended to watch this series, but after I got really bored one night I rented a copy of the original and went from there. Now we’ve made it to the finale, or the “climax” as the film likes to call it, and the question is: How does it rank against the others, especially coming from a guy who’s never read the books?
It was the second attempt at a Fifty Shades sequel, and just like the previous film, it failed to gain any momentum for the series. Acting more like a remake of Fifty Shades Darker than a sequel, James Foley managed to recreate his second film, although managing to somehow make it slightly worse. The action set pieces in the film are entirely unnecessary and while we’re on the subject, the whole conspiracy of Jack Hyde that the movie uses for tension is ridiculous. At one point during the film, I turned towards my company sitting beside me and I could see her laughter in the darkness about how idiotic this film was increasingly getting. If I were to give any credit to the director, it would be that he succeeded (most likely) at placing the exact words from script page to screen, and I’m only guessing that because of how it was presented on the screen.
Fifty Shades Freed takes the collision of multiple genres from the previous films and takes it to a whole new extreme. Rehashing the exact same concepts we’ve seen twice before (limited to this trilogy), a conclusion that feels both out of place and way too familiar is created. It is hard to believe that the dialogue was actually written down on a page and was able to make it to the screen, although at this point the execs probably just want this property to disappear. The film is carelessly paced, attempting to correct the lack of sex and the red room by randomly squeezing them in the middle of anything happening on screen. Anastasia rolls her eyes at Christian in one scene, and it immediately cuts to her getting punished in the red room. The plot is dull, and even the scenes that try something a little different, including the sex scenes, lack any intensity and just come off as a lazy effort to squeeze too much into a first draft script.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Ugh. These actors don’t want to be in this movie just as much as we don’t want to watch it. The characters continue to act on their devilishly idiotic temptations and proceed to play out the exact same back & forth dialogue we’ve seen now three times in a row. Can I just end it there? Let’s just end there, shall we?
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Why did Danny Elfman sign on to do this trilogy? I understand getting duped into being involved with the first film, but was he under such a serious contract that he couldn’t remove himself from the next two? The score is okay. It’s just that simple it doesn’t add anything to the film, beyond a few soap opera moments of intensity. But overall the entire score that’s not flat out lyrical songs is not even close to the talent that has come from Elfman in the past. The previous two films have had a few decent lyrical hits in their films that I don’t honestly hate, such as “Earned it" by The Weeknd, and “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding, but this film just had absolutely no memorable hits in it. This unfortunately concluded the series with a montage of a hit from the previous entry of the series. It’s a disappointment for sure when compared to the other two.
The special effects aren’t a big contributor to the film as a whole but the few moments they are included, do leave a few questions for the sake of continuity. In example, a car chase scene a little ways into the film includes no cars whatsoever up to a certain point with no justification. Another curious moment is when a character gets viciously slapped and then kicked, her bruises appear on the wrong side of her face. This also calls into question the level of intensity that was brought into the scene because for the amount of damage that occurs, the hits should of been so much more. Beyond those few moments, the backdrops looked nice whenever they had a view of a beach or mountains; they all looked crisp and nice, just like they were really there. There were a few laughably missed opportunities for a category that wouldn’t have been all that bad otherwise.
Finally it’s complete, the long awaited “climax” is upon us, and it’s one that any moviegoer should probably skip. There’s so much wrong with this film, but after two previous movies of the increasingly poor decisions by filmmakers and actors involved alike, I can’t help but feel depleted even more after each and every entry. The Fifty Shades trilogy has been residing in a steady flatline since the beginning, just waiting to be officially pronounced dead.