Well, I’ve done it. Over the course of three weeks, a trial as emotionally and physically arduous as anything the young Anastasia Steele faced in the loathe-yet-magnetic red room, I have watched all three movies in the Fifty Shades trilogy. I now know Dakota Johnson’s naked breasts and Jamie Dornan’s blank, empty face as well as I know my own two hands, and I’ve fully grasped what I can only assume to be the thesis of this franchise: Rich people don’t have real problems, and capitalism is a broken system which will continue to exploit the working class and reward the unremarkable until we see full-scale economic revolution. The real domination is not Christian Grey’s feeble use of a riding crop, but rather the way he has consigned his employees to a life of meager deference, kowtowing to his 22-year-old bride who gleefully watches all of her dreams spread out before her like ripe fruit on a platter, waiting for her to thoughtlessly pluck up into her manicured fingers and pop into her mouth.
Fifty Shades Freed finds Anastasia and Christian getting married and going on a whirlwind European honeymoon that we, as the audience, infuriatingly only see in montage-snippets. (What is the point of this wealth-porn if we cannot vicariously plan a lavish wedding celebration? A wall of flowers isn’t going to cut it; we’ve already seen that on Kim K’s Instagram.) Ana returns home to find that in her absence, she, a 22-year-old who had just months ago graduated college and began work as an assistant, is now the senior acquisitions editor at a major publishing company. How lucky! She and her handsome new husband kiss and have sex and buy a house and escape the sinister Jack Hyde, Ana’s former boss who’s become obsessed with destroying their lives.
In a haphazard third act, Hyde kidnaps Christian’s sister and forces Ana to bring ransom. Ana briefly becomes Jason Bourne, and Hyde is defeated. Also, Ana is pregnant, and though Christian had previously thrown a fit about it, now he’s decided he’s happy about it.
This movie is only about an hour and a half, but it feels as though it lasted for 5,000 years. Whether to blame the source material, the directing, the editing, or the actors (Johnson is a delight, Dornan is a corpse warmed up) is an unnecessary conversation. With Fifty Shades Freed, we are the ones who have all been freed. (Dakota Johnson presumably popped the champagne.)
But of course, there are still lingering questions, questions like:
(Excerpt) Read More in: Entertainment Weekly