Fifty Shades Freed: Better to pass the time thinking about your parents having sex than sit through this
  • Fifty Shades Freed: Better to pass the time thinking about your parents having sex than sit through this
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Fifty Shades Freed at last, that is, as moviedom’s favorite boy-beats-girl franchise draws to a halting climax. This viewer needed closure after having survived the first two, so it just makes sense that I cast a little shade on the windup. Besides, if the alternatives are comic-book franchises or the latest CGI-driven action-adventure fantasy, I’ll choose S&M (smut & moronity) every time.

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Fifty Shades Freed 0 stars

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It’s rare that I put in for combat pay, but it’s tough being the only one in the multiplex not tipping a plastic wine glass between visits to the Red Room. My fellow theater-mates at both evening previews of Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Freed were alcohol-energized. (No trace of booze was detected at the opening morning presentation of Fifty Shades Darker.) Remember the escalating squeal that surged through a Saved by the Bell studio audience whenever hunky Slater planted a wet one on Jesse? A similar screech was frequently heard wheeling throughout the tipsy preview audience at AMC Mission Valley.

Audience reaction (participation?) was key to making it through the first two. This time, the laughably consensual tawdriness and corresponding bad-acting-at-its-finest generally associated with the series wasn’t enough to mollify viewers. Freed begins with Christian (Jamie Dornan) and Ana (Dakota Johnson) tying the knot, but fans anticipating auto-eroticism are soon asphyxiated by 90 minutes of panoramic pans of exotic locales. Add to this a few yawn-generating softcore spankings before closing on a note of unmitigated violence.

Marriage has made quite the prude of Christian, who now winces at the amount of skin his wife flashes on a nude beach. And with an eye-rolling Ana wise to his whips-and-chains schtick, there’s little excitement left to the couple’s S&M couplings. Submissive moviegoers might need a safeword — try “storytelling” or “structure” — to unambiguously communicate the profoundness of their emotional discomfort and intellectual detachment.

As for the filmmakers, when all else fails and S&M simply will not do the trick, reintroduce an ex-boyfriend to kidnap and brutalize one character and stomp the pregnant stomach of another. Better to pass the time thinking about your parents having sex than to sit through this.

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Comments

monaghan Feb. 14, 2018 @ 7:35 p.m.

One of your great funny reviews, Scotty, even though it was arguably one of the worst flicks you've ever had to sit through. Do you think they make movies like this in damnable interfering Communist Russia? To their great credit, I'll bet not.

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dwbat Feb. 15, 2018 @ 7:35 a.m.

"...thinking about your parents having sex ..." Ewww, Scott, I didn't want that in my brain! :-o

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Ponzi Feb. 15, 2018 @ 12:31 p.m.

A bell cannot be unrung. Somethings are not worth seeing, since you cannot unsee them.

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