I went to see Fifty Shades Freed—the third, supposedly final and treacherously terrible entry in the Fifty Shades franchise—on a Sunday morning, hoping to keep a low profile. I was the only single guy sitting in the dark theater, along with couples of varying ages, primed for groping and sloppy in-theater fellatio. (Hey, we all know what happens at these damn Fifty Shades screenings!)
So … this is the one in which Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) get married, creating an eternal bond for their patented strain of lovemaking that involves whips, handcuffs and shitty dialogue.
When I sat down to take in this fart to the face, I was thinking, “Say, you know what I want with my miserable, dick-killing soft-core porn? Give me some car chases and kidnapping drama!” And that is what I got … but I wasn’t really thinking that. I was thinking something along the lines of, “Help me. I want to go home. I want to go home now.”
I didn’t see Fifty Shades Darker, the Empire Strikes Back of the Fifty Shades trilogy. As I recall, I had a hangnail when it came out, and my physician told me that staring at Dornan’s naked ass and constantly changing facial hair would exacerbate it, so I took a pass. I did see the first one, Fifty Shades of Grey, an experience that had an adverse, lasting effect on my thyroid and circulatory system.
In that second chapter, some character named Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) was apparently stirring up crap. He returns in this movie, all cardboard-cutout-angry at Anastasia for whatever she did in part two. (Whatever that was, I’m sure it consisted of her droning in whiny, bored tones.) He follows her around, at one point orchestrating a car chase between Anastasia’s brand-new Audi and a Dodge Durango. Who do you think won that race?
While there is supposed to be a plot, Fifty Shades Freed is really just an assemblage of asinine, soul-decimating moments. Here’s a quick of just a few of the things Fifty Shades Freed totally ruined for me: Seattle, Audis, Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” (Dornan sits down at a piano to sing this in a true WTF? moment), David Bowie’s “Young Americans” (I heard it playing while Anastasia and Christian were eating steak), steak, butt plugs (I’m kind of OK with having this one ruined for me), Dodge Durangoes, Aspen, women, men, Mickey Mouse (he’s on my watch face, which I was constantly checking), Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith (they are Dakota Johnson’s parents, and I’m holding them personally responsible), the color red, sexy architects, sonograms and the English language.
The movie is set in Seattle. This fact made wish Mount Rainier would erupt. This franchise is selling a gazillion dollars in tickets; surely, they could’ve spent an extra hundred million on a volcanic-eruption sequence in which Christian and Anastasia get buried in molten lava while playing with vibrators in their torture room. (A sequel set in the future could’ve had archaeologists making an especially lascivious, Pompeii-like discovery of their preserved and naughtily posed bodies.)
The movie is directed by James Foley, who helmed such classics as At Close Range and, for Christ’s sake, Glengary Glen Ross. Let’s put this in perspective: This guy directed the Alec Baldwin’s “Brass Balls” speech, and now he’s directing Seattle-based butt-plug mayhem. (He also directed Madonna’s “Who’s That Girl,” so the seeds of suck were planted in the late 1980s. The bastard has come full circle.)
Anastasia and Christian have a safe word—“Red!”—when things get out of hand in their little bondage-palace nightmare. From now on, I will have a movie safe word—I think it shall be “Jaws!”—and I will repeat this aloud when I want a movie to stop. As for Fifty Shades Freed? “Jaws! … Jaws! … Jaws! … oh, God, Jaws! … Jaws!
Fifty Shades Freed is playing at theaters across the valley.