Directed by: James Foley
Written by: Niall Leonard, Based on book by E.L. James
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson
In the exciting final installment of the Fifty Shades series, Fifty Shades Freed, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) are getting married! After a short engagement these two crazy kids are about to begin the next exciting chapter of their life together. The Greys then depart for their romantic honeymoon in France, but they don’t get their happy ending right away.
First they have to deal with the threat that began in the previous film, in the form of Ana’s former boss Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson). While away, a fire breaks out in Grey Enterprises, and the Greys realize that Jack has returned. This story-line would probably be more appealing to men than the love stuff, because there is a bit of mystery, danger, and an exciting climax to the story with an intriguing revelation.
While settling into their roles as husband and wife, Ana also has to adapt to her new position at Seattle Independent Publishing (SIP). As the Editor of New Fiction, with a fancy office and an assistant, Hannah (Ashleigh LaThrop), Ana discovers a hot new online author, Boyce Fox (Tyler Hoechlin, in a much hyped but underused role). Mrs. Grey is very good at her job, and this earns her high praise from the boss, Jerry Roach (Bruce Altman) which doesn’t sit well with her co-worker Liz (Amy Price-Francis).
Ana also has to get used to having a bodyguard around at all times (because of the Jack threat). Sawyer (Brant Daugherty) is a constant presence in Ana’s life both at home and at work. He is kind of a tattle-tale too. One night while Christian is out of town on business, she goes out for drinks with her friend Kate (Eloise Mumford) against Christian’s wishes. Of course, Sawyer reports back to his boss who is not thrilled that Ana has been insubordinate.
Christian soon decides that since they are entering a new chapter in their life, it’s time for them to have their own home. He buys a house for them and hires a young, attractive architect Gia Matteo (Arielle Kebbel) to help with the redesign. When she seems to be hitting on Christian, Ana’s feathers are ruffled. It was nice to see her put Gia in her place, because it showed how much her character has grown.
When Ana laments that she doesn’t get to spend much time with her friends anymore (besides the one outing with Kate), Christian surprises her with a trip to Aspen (remember back to Fifty Shades Darker, when Ana won the prize at the masquerade charity event). The Greys, Kate, Christian’s brother Elliot (Luke Grimes), his sister Mia (Rita Ora), and Ana’s friend Jose (Victor Rasuk) all board Christian’s private jet for a weekend getaway. The friends hike, shop, and go clubbing. They have a great time, with no worries about Jack.
First comes love, then comes marriage. What happens next? Well with all the sex they are having it’s really no surprise. When Ana tells him the news, Christian does not take it well and storms out. It seems the Greys are not quite ready to be parents yet. Will Christian give up his Red Room? Will Jack succeed in his mission to destroy the Greys? Watch Fifty Shades Freed to find out!
I felt that the acting was decent in this film. Dornan and Johnson were more comfortable in their roles by this film. There was still some awkwardness, but it was much better than the acting in the Twilight movies. There was also not as much shocking sexual content in this one as there was in the previous films.
Although there was one very interesting scene that included ice cream. It will be awhile before I am able to look at a pint of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream and not think of this scene. A flashback montage near the end of the film shows how far these characters have developed in such a short amount of time; from Ana stumbling into Christian’s office to his newly-wedded wife, despite their vastly different life experiences.
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you were forced to watch this by your girlfriend/fiancée/wife), Fifty Shades Freed has a run time of 1 hour and 45 minutes. A lot of material from the book was left out. Personally, I would have sat through a longer movie to see additional content. Hopefully some of these parts will appear on the Director’s Cut of the Blu-ray.
Some of the parts I noticed that were removed included: the relationship between Taylor and Mrs. Jones; any mention at all of Taylor’s daughter; the brief return of Christian’s former sub Leila; Ana’s father’s car accident and subsequent hospitalization; and the celebration of Ana’s birthday.
The Fifty Shades series isn’t going to win any awards. It’s not intended to save humanity. But it’s an entertaining, inspiring, fractured fairy tale love story for current times. If you like the books, you’ll enjoy this movie.