Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford
Director: James Foley
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins
Through two movies in the Fifty Shades franchise, they have amassed a whopping 14 Razzie nominations. Would Fifty Shades Freed be the movie to change this franchise around and end on a high note. No, that would be too easy. Instead, we get a story that goes nowhere, sex scenes that are either boring or uncomfortable to watch, and a movie that breaks every element of basic filmmaking.
James Foley was not a director I was familiar with, so I looked up other films that he has directed in the past. I was appalled when I found out he directed one of my favorite movies, Glengarry Glen Ross. This man has worked with elite professionals like Jack Lemmon and Al Pacino, and this is where he is now? Pacino was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance, so why were the performances in this movie so bad? Johnson and Dornan are absolutely terrible in their roles and show no actual range of talent. While the writing certainly did not help, Johnson was not convincing as a passive or strong woman, and Dornan was equally atrocious portraying a vindictive or loving man. Speaking of the writing, I am not convinced that a human being wrote the script for this movie. I believe that an alien came down and was told the basics of this movie without ever seeing a movie and wrote a script based on that. Not only is the dialogue clunky, but the way Johnson and Dornan speak to one another in a way that no person has ever spoken before.
Moving on to the main problem with the movie, the story tries to do everything but ends up doing nothing. There are multiple story lines that seem to be very important to the plotline and end up going nowhere. Ana’s (Johnson) co-worker Hannah (Ashleigh LaThrop) constantly flirts with Ana’s bodyguard (Brant Daugherty) for maybe the first half of the movie, and then we never see her again. What was the point of having multiple scenes about it if was not going anywhere? I can understand having one scene about it when they first meet, but everything after that is pointless. The storyline about whether or not Elliot (Luke Grimes) was cheating on Katherine (Mumford) with Gia (Arielle Kebbel) ends with a proposal, so all that buildup was for nothing. I felt as though time was wasted trying to invest us in stories that did not matter. The worst offender of this was the ending. Jack (Johnson) kidnaps Mia (Rita Ora) and wants $5,000,000 for her return. This happens with about a half hour left in the movie and is incredibly rushed. For a film that has the tagline of, “Don’t Miss the Climax,” maybe you should make it last more than a minute. Mia is only on-screen for about 15 minutes before this scene, so why do I care if she gets kidnapped? At least Ana and Katherine had a night out together, so I might have cared a little bit if she got kidnapped. Any basic character development for Mia would have made the final act stronger, but since she is invisible throughout the film, I did not care at all.
Finally, the one thing that the Fifty Shades franchise is known for is the sex scenes. These where the most underwhelming, disappointing, and awkward sex scenes I have seen. I thought these scenes were going to be incredibly graphic, but almost everything is covered in clothing except for a few topless scenes. Call Me by Your Name had more graphic sex scenes than this, and that was not even the point of the movie. The worst one is when Christian for lack of a better word, sexually assaults Ana with a vibrator. It was so difficult to watch this scene and whatever issues they were having beforehand does not give him the right to assault her in that way. It is one of the many scenes that shows that both of them are terrible, broken people who in no way should be married.
Overall, this was one of the worst movies I have seen in my life. On top of a broken story and terrible acting, the shots only last about three seconds which is nauseating to watch. This film does not if it wants to be a drama, action, or romantic comedy and is something I would expect to see on the Lifetime Movie Network. The only reason I will not give this film a 0/10 is because I did not walk out on it. The best part about Fifty Shades Freed is that we are finally free of this garbage.
Overall Score: 1/10