'Fifty Shades Freed' Review: A Tolerable Ending to the Anticlimactic Trilogy

Finally, after three years and three films, the Fifty Shades trilogy has come to an end. Fans of the book series by British author E.L. James will be pleased with the final film of the series, as it, for the most part, follows the best-selling novel down to a tee. But the truth is, Fifty Shades Freed is a dud, cheesy, unrealistic, and anticlimactic like the two previous films. It’s two hours of boring and unexplainable “suspense” without a succinct plot.

Fifty Shades Freed begins with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) getting married in an intimate ceremony. The film then rushes into a montage of the newlyweds on their honeymoon in France and speeds through multiple scenes throughout the rest of the film. The hurried scenes make the movie weak and hinder the progression of the scenes that follow.

As the Greys return to Seattle, the film gets more and more impractical. Somehow Ana manages to receive a promotion while on her honeymoon and no one notified her. In reality, this would never happen. Also, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) resurfaces from hiding and succeeds in hacking the server at Christian Grey’s billion dollar company although he’s only worked in publishing. He also gets by with breaking into the Grey penthouse despite the fact that Christian has hired “top-notch security.” Both occurrences don't make sense and are unconvincing.

The weakest part of Freed is the entire trip to Aspen. After Jack tries to kidnap Ana, Christian decides to take her away for a weekend trip to the city to clear her mind and invites his brother Elliott (Luke Grimes) and his sister Mia (Rita Ora) as well as Ana’s friends Kate (Eloise Mumford) and Jose (Victor Rasuk) to come with them. It’s intended to be a fun and relaxing trip, only none of the “fun” and “relaxing” moments are shown. The only things viewers see is the end of a hike that Ana, Elliott, Kate, Jose, and Mia go on, and all of them, including Christian, dancing at a club where Elliott proposes to Kate, another unreal scenario. No one in their right mind would propose to their girlfriend in a club where it’s loud, crowded, and smells of alcohol and smoke. Proposing in a club is and was a bad idea. The whole trip to Aspen was pointless and did not drive the plot. The film could have done without it.

At the end of Freed, Jack’s true intentions of his revenge to destroy Christian and Ana’s lives are revealed. Apparently Christian and Jack were foster brothers before Christian was adopted. Jack felt that he should have been the one that Carrick (Andrew Airlie) and Dr. Grace (Marcia Gay Harden) adopted, not Christian. He spends his whole life trying to get back at Christian for something he had no control over. Jack’s need for vengeance is just not believable. It’s hard to imagine that a renowned editor, who has years of experience in the publishing field, moved all the way to Seattle, Washington to come up with an elaborate plan to sabotage the life of his former foster brother he hasn’t seen or spoken to in thirty years. It’s not rational. It’s selling something to viewers they just aren’t willing to buy.

The biggest issue with Fifty Shades Freed is that there is not enough tension. Christian and Ana have multiple arguments about problematic things such as his need to control her, him purposely punishing her sexually when she doesn’t come straight home from work one night, and flipping out when she tells him she’s pregnant. Each time the two of them get into an argument, it ends rather quickly and goes unresolved, which leads viewers into having a long list of questions that will never get answered.

Along with there not being enough tension, there is also barely any presence of supporting characters. In the two hours of the film, Kate has the most lines, which is about twenty, no more than twenty-five. Jose and Mia only have one, Elliot has a few, and Dr. Grace Grey has a few as well but not until the end of the movie. Elena Lincoln (Kim Basigner) is nowhere to be found, despite the mention of Christian visiting her. Ana’s parents are nonexistent as well. The film may be about Christian and Ana overcoming the obstacles of their life as a married couple, but more appearances of the supporting are needed to push the plot forward and keep it from being improbable.  

What saves Fifty Shades Freed is Dakota Johnson. She shines in the film as Anastasia Steele. In every scene, she pushes the envelope and tries to take the character to the next level. Johnson not only brings light to the sometimes “dark” material, she also shows the character development in Ana from being a shy timid girl to a bad ass working woman. Johnson truly gives a remarkable performance. She shows that an actress can still shine through when the movie is dreadful to watch.

As a whole, Fifty Shades Freed is mildly entertaining. It has some funny moments and decent sex-scenes and is a satisfactory ending to the Fifty Shades trilogy. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan’s chemistry on-screen is the best of all the three films. Still, it’s not enough to make Fifty Shades Freed worth seeing in the theaters.