Fifty Shades Freed

 

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The final nail in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

 

Fifty Shades Freed  

Jamie and Dakota and Paris

 

The good news is that Fifty Shades Freed is not quite as dull as Fifty Shades Darker (2017). The stronger narrative helps, but you have to laugh. Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) have now tied the knot and Mrs Grey still has things to learn about her six-packed fuck buddy. When he spirits her off to their honeymoon in France, they take his private jet which, apparently, she didn’t know he owned. Really? What woman doesn’t know that her husband owns a jet? In Fifty Shades Darker he did tell her that he had bought an airline, but maybe that’s different. Even so, Anastasia does seem terribly in the dark, even when she’s not sporting the silk blindfold that he insists she wears before a bit of the old S&M.

 

Anybody who’s read a few pages of the E.L. James trilogy (that began with Fifty Shades of Grey), will know that the film will be utter tosh. Anastasia is now in the driving seat of Seattle Independent Publishing (a wedding gift from her husband) and her first author is not only a highly skilled wordsmith but looks like a male model. We then meet Gia Matteo (Arielle Kebbel), the architect hired to re-design the couple’s new mansion and, you guessed it, she doesn’t look like Frank Gehry, or even Zaha Hadid. Think Jessica Alba with a dash of early Heather Locklear. These people exist in a realm so far removed from reality that it’s surprising they don’t communicate in speech bubbles. Christian himself is preternaturally gorgeous, obscenely wealthy and culturally polished to a high gloss. Here, he even gets to sing Paul McCartney’s ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’, accompanying himself on piano.

 

Real life does begin to intrude when Christian and Anastasia take to the beach in the south of France. He objects to her taking her top off in public, even though she observes that they’re just “boobs in boobland.” True, the nipples outnumber the pebbles on the beach, but Christian is concerned about paparazzi shots ending up in the media. He’s also worried about security and when Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), Anastasia’s embittered ex-boss and would-be paramour, appears to be stalking them, Mrs Grey is furnished with a personal bodyguard.

 

Christian is also showing worrying signs of a controlling nature and is upset when Anastasia keeps her own name at work and pops out for a drink with a girlfriend. However, there’s nothing like a shot of drama to bring a couple together. And drama there is – but the nooky keeps getting in the way. Maybe there is an audience for Jamie Dorman’s sculpted buttocks and Dakota Johnson’s pouting, but the sex is more choreographed than an episode of Strictly. Still, the pop songs provided by Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and Dua Lipa are pretty enough, as are the sensual cityscapes of Seattle and Paris.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Max Martini, Fay Masterson, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden, Bruce Altman, Arielle Kebbel, Brant Daugherty, Tyler Hoechlin, Callum Keith Rennie.

 

Dir James Foley, Pro Michael De Luca, E.L. James, Dana Brunetti and Marcus Viscidi, Screenplay Niall Leonard, Ph John Schwartzman, Pro Des Nelson Coates, Ed Richard Francis-Bruce, Debra Neil-Fisher and David Clark, Music Danny Elfman, Costumes Shay Cunliffe.

 

Perfect World Pictures/Michael De Luca Productions-Universal Pictures.

105 mins. USA. 2018. Rel: 9 February 2018. Cert. 18.