The Movie Waffler Now on Netflix - FIFTY SHADES FREED | The Movie Waffler


fifty shades freed review
The eagerly awaited conclusion of the Fifty Shades saga.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: James Foley

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Rita Ora, Arielle Kebbel, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden

fifty shades freed poster

If the police requested that I account for my whereabouts between 1.30pm and 3.15pm on February 8th, 2018, I could tell them I was sat in a screening room watching Fifty Shades Freed, the eagerly awaited (at least by critics who have been counting the days to being freed from covering this franchise) final chapter of the Fifty Shades saga. If they asked me to provide more details, such as the plot of said film, I would likely be taken into custody, as I'm struggling to recount much of its non-existent story.

fifty shades freed

I loosely recall Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) getting married, and chuckling at the idea of the latter wearing white while getting mildly annoyed at the former for not having the decency to have a shave on his wedding day. There was also something about a guy who looks like a not so handsome Alexander Skarsgard stealing information from Grey's corporation and then stalking Anastasia. And of course there were some terrible sex scenes.

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With Hollywood desperate to 'clean up its act' - and thus likely to throw the healthy sexual baby out with the predatory bathwater - said awful sex scenes may well represent the last time we ever see famous folk get their kit off in a mainstream American movie, which makes them all the more egregious. It's difficult to believe Hollywood is the den of perversion it's recently been exposed as (to nobody's genuine surprise) when the embarrassingly awkward heavy petting on display here gives the impression nobody in Tinseltown has ever had sex. The sweaty slobbering offered up here is no different to the sort of bad sex you might have found in those not-so-erotic thrillers that filled the top shelves of your local video store back in the '90s, only with an added budget for music licensing. And of course the series still refuses to throw its female fans a bone (ooo err matron) with a glimpse of Jamie D's D. In an age when a few mouse clicks can satisfy any sexual fetish imaginable, how can this puritanical porn justify its existence?

fifty shades freed

This final instalment (boy oh boy, does it feel good to type those words) is the movie equivalent of an office at 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon - everyone is still at their desks, but nobody's really doing any work. If you told me Dornan's masonry like performance had been digitally created using footage from the previous two movies, I'd believe you, and every supporting actor has the dead look of a Westworld robot in their eyes.

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The same can't be said for the always committed Johnson, who deserves an honorary Oscar for managing to make it through this series with her dignity intact. Johnson is like a footballer who knows they're good enough to play for Barcelona but can't get out of their contract at West Brom, yet gives 110% every match regardless. If you see her, thank her for her service.

fifty shades freed

Fifty Shades Freed goes out of its way to infuriate its target female audience with a neat line in outdated misogyny. Christian is a dinosaur who throws a wobbly every time Anastasia dares to act independently, and it's impossible to believe any girl with half a brain would endure his nonsense - looking like Jamie Dornan will only get you so far son! With a thinly-veiled anti-abortion agenda and the suggestion that married people shouldn't be left alone with anyone who isn't their spouse, the film would likely be endorsed by America's notoriously uptight Vice President Mike Pence. Having said that, Pence allegedly refers to his wife as 'Mother', which is a lot kinkier than anything you'll see in Fifty Shades Freed.

Fifty Shades Freed is on Netflix UK now.