Fifty Shades Freed: unusual but enjoyable

Photo Courtesy of Universal Pictures

I’m probably one of the few people to feel this way, but I don’t hate the “Fifty Shades” sequels.

“Fifty Shades Freed” stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and is directed by James Foley.

Newlyweds Christian and Anastasia enjoy their new life. However, it’s not long before their intertwined pasts come back to haunt them, and that’s about all there is to the film.

There’s some non-vanilla sex sprinkled in as well. “Freed” has less bondage, discipline, domination, sadism and masochism (BDSM) compared to the first movie “Fifty Shades of Gray” and second, “Fifty Shades Darker.”

“Freed” is not an erotic romance–it is a hybrid romance-thriller. It’s ridiculous but in an enjoyable way. The interactions between Anastasia and Christian are charming and fulfilling, especially if you’re invested in the characters.

Dornan and Johnson show to have a stale chemistry. While I acknowledge the staleness, I don’t find it awful, just unusual. The way both actors play their characters is odd, but if you’re coming back to the theater to watch “Freed” then you’ve probably just accepted it like I have.

Their acting persists of unrealistic inflection of their voices, which makes the movie strange to watch.

Like “Fifty Shades Darker,” author E.L. James had her way with the script, and it’s noticeable. Every other scene, an absolutely cringe-worthy line will come up and it will stick out like a sore thumb. “Freed” worried me whenever it began leaning into tropes I can’t stand in films, which I can’t describe due to a possibility of a spoiler. However, every time they would head into these tropes, they would resolve them in a truly natural and realistic sense, a task that even the best films fail to do.

Overall, I cannot say that “Fifty Shades Freed” is a good film. It is, however, an enjoyable one. After watching the “Shades” series, it is clear that when Foley came on for film number two, she actually brought her creativity to a series that could’ve gone excruciatingly bad, following up the original.

Foley’s stamp is alive in “Freed.” If you can look past and maybe even enjoy the film’s absurdity, you might just have as a good a time watching it as I did.

Fifty Shades Freed receives an 8/20.

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