‘Fifty Shades Freed’ mercifully ends tedious franchise

Updated February 9, 2018 - 12:01 pm

Somewhere in the middle of “Fifty Shades Freed,” a distraught Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) tells his new bride, the former Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), about the dream he just had. “You were dead. And you were lying on the concrete. And you were cold. And I couldn’t wake you.”

That’s pretty much how death works, sport.

Gosh, it’s a good thing you’re pretty.

I won’t go into much detail about the story, because “Fifty Shades Freed” — whatever that means — contains roughly the same amount of plot as a Bazooka Joe comic.

Basically, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), Anastasia’s former boss, continues to stalk the happy couple. Their honeymoon montage is interrupted by a call from Christian’s company, letting them know that someone downloaded some of Christian’s personal files, then set fire to the server room. Despite the perpetrator’s face being obscured in a blurry security video, Anastasia immediately recognizes that it’s Jack.

After returning to Seattle, Anastasia tears herself away from some foreplay to track down a pair of scissors so she can cut Christian’s hair. (Sure, why not?) She returns to the sink visibly shaken.

“Why is there a gun in your desk?” she demands. Well, let’s see. In the past few days, you’ve gained a ’round-the-clock security detail, your husband told you Jack sabotaged his helicopter, causing it to crash, and you just survived a high-speed car chase — and then immediately had sex in the passenger’s seat. Why is there a gun? Oh, Ana. You’re supposed to be the brains in the relationship.

There are plenty of other head-scratchers — and by that I’m referring to things that are puzzling, not some obscure devices in Christian’s infamous Red Room.

“You do wanna have kids someday, right?” Anastasia asks Christian — after their honeymoon.

As they took turns spooning ice cream onto each other’s naughty places, going back several times to scoop out more, I wasn’t thinking about arousal. I was thinking about where that spoon had been and worrying about the poor sap who would eventually eat the rest of that ice cream.

There are two different scenes in which Christian can’t find Anastasia because she’s in another room. If that’s not a sign that you should start buying smaller homes, I don’t know what is.

And an hour into the movie, Christian is handed a dossier on good ol’ Jack. “This just came in,” Taylor (Max Martini) announces, before briefing Christian on the highlights: where Jack went to college, as well as his previous work history. So after weeks of harassment by a dangerous stalker, Christian’s head of security finally decided to take a gander at LinkedIn. Nice.

By now, director James Foley (“Glengarry Glen Ross”) and screenwriter Niall Leonard (“Fifty Shades” author E.L. James’ husband) have developed a bit of a pattern to the madness. Step one: Have a silly fight, storm off, play generic pop song, have sex. Step 2: Rinse — often while playing another generic pop song and having sex while rinsing. Step 3: Repeat ad nauseum.

After one of these kerfuffles, Anastasia walks in on Christian in the shower, runs her hand down his chest, down to his stomach, down to his … hand, which grabs hers and pulls it away. “I can’t,” Christian tells her.

Wait, what? Whaddya mean, you can’t? That’s literally the only reason you’re around.

Johnson continues to add sparks and a sense of unpredictability to the proceedings, while Dornan yet again portrays Christian as a frighteningly possessive man baby, as well as a bit of a dolt. Honestly, it’s more than a little surprising that he’s capable of tying his shoes, let alone tying up his wife.

For five minutes or so, “Fifty Shades Freed” adopts the beats of a thriller — minus any actual thrills.

I can’t imagine there are people out there who haven’t grown tired of watching those two boink. Yet boink they do, to the point of tedium.

Then again, if the “Fifty Shades” franchise is about anything — and I often wonder if it is — it’s excess. Christian has acquired an entire fleet of Audis, including an R8 V10 that earns a long glamour shot as though we’re watching a disturbingly graphic car commercial. Even the sets are designed to within an inch of their lives — every room looks as though it were staged by a moderately successful Realtor.

I’m not certain if “Fifty Shades Freed” is marginally better than its predecessors, or if I’ve just grown accustomed to the awfulness of the franchise.

I am sure of one thing, though: I’m finally, mercifully, freed of “Fifty Shades.”

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like