REVIEW | ‘Fifty Shades Freed’

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Mrs. Grey will see you now.

“Fifty Shades Freed” finds Christian (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) married, and Anastasia resisting to be controlled. Like, no, Christian cannot stop her from going topless in the beach. And, no, she does not want her email address changed into “AnastasiaGrey.” She’s testing her wife powers over Christian. And that’s the extent of their marital drama. Plus the baby argument.

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The third and the last in the final trilogy, “Freed” has a crime-drama plot seemingly written by an 11-year-old, then revised by his conservative and romantic mother to add her kinky but highly unimaginative BDSM fantasies. Ana’s former boss, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) is still the villain. Plus Ana’s got a hot new bodyguard, which is as significant as a lamp post.

“Fifty Shades,” as you already know, is a series of poorly written porn novels that were originally fan fiction, then made into a movie franchise. It’s about a handsome and ultra rich guy who introduces a naive girl to the darker, outer-boundaries of sex.

I attempted to read the first of the three books but never got past the first few pages, because I was quickly losing brain cells. And I’m not being a snob here. Cheap thrills still have laws of basic readability. The book is fantastically rubbish. But you gotta admire its novelty and outrageous success. Which means a lot of women on Earth are thrilled by the genre with complete disregard for prose.

“Freed” is written by Niall Leonard, the spouse of “Fifty Shades” author E.L. James, and directed by James Foley. I have no clue about the third book from which this movie is based, but this final installment is severely vapid. But there’s a gorgeous new house, and I liked Anastasia’s work clothes.

If you are an obsessed fan, nothing can stop you from watching it. If you’re going for the sex scenes, well, you’re just going to get lots of boob exposure and some pretty tame, uninspired sex. It feels like “Freed” wants itself to be recognized as more than just porn, so it had no choice but to come up with a lame plot, incorporating a crime-mystery narrative that makes the “Nancy Drew” series an adult masterpiece.

It is plain wrong to expect anything deeper in a phenomenally popular franchise known to sell juvenile and cheesy stuff. But there’s the fairly enjoyable kind of cheesy (like the second installment, “Fifty Shades Darker”) and there’s the kind of cheesy that is bland and flimsy, like “Freed.” Very anticlimactic.

1.5 out of 5 stars

February 7, 2018 in Philippine cinemas.
R-18 (Not available in any SM Cinema).

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