The third installment of the “Fifty Shades” franchise is upon us, but should “Fifty Shades Freed” have been locked up like Christian Grey’s sex toys?
Critics have been throwing more than 50 shades of shade on the film starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, giving the film a score of 6 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Reviewers have commented on the “ludicrous” plot twist, and the “too-laughable-to-be-hot sex scene,” while one critic even said the film is like a “bad Tinder date that lasted three years.”
“”Fifty Shades Freed,’ the third filmic adaptation of EL James’ briefly popular BDSM erotica series, is marginally better than its predecessor, ‘Fifty Shades Darker,’ in much the same way that being shot through the head is better than being guillotined,” Film Ink’s Travis Johnson wrote.
“Fifty Shades Freed” suffers from a lack of rhythm, moving from plot point to plot point with as much spontaneity as meal-planning for one’s luxury penthouse household with one’s housekeeper. It’s clichéd, stodgy and overly faithful to the original books,” wrote TheWrap’s film critic, Anna Hartley.
Jame Foley directed the third film in a franchise that has made $280 million at the domestic box office. Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes and Arielle Kebbel also star.
See seven of the worst reviews below.
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly:
“Strip the pleasure away from a guilty pleasure and what are you left with exactly? ‘Fifty Shades Freed,’ the third and final cinematic installment in E.L. James’ trashy S&M trilogy, answers that question with every ludicrous plot twist, stilted line delivery, and too-laughable-to-be-hot sex scene… ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ is certainly slicker than those carnal cheapies. But it seems embarrassed to embrace its own pervy nature. It’s kitsch that looks in the mirror and deludes itself into thinking it sees art staring back.”
Kimber Myers, The Playlist:
“The third film in the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy thinks its most shocking moment is when a reluctant Ana (a reluctant Dakota Johnson) opens a drawer full of fancy butt plugs in her new husband’s glam sex dungeon, aka the ‘Red Room.’ However, ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ gets a far bigger WTF when it punishes its audience by making them sit through minutes of Christian (Jamie Dornan, still physically present) playing the piano and singing ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ by Paul McCartney for no particular reason to the inexplicable awe of his wife and friends. You’d think that by the third film we’d be used to this nonsense, but our threshold for pain still hasn’t risen high enough to find this pleasurable.”
Benjamin Lee, The Guardian:
“And so, after three whip-cracking, handcuffing, sleep-inducing chapters of glossy dom/sub drama, the Fifty Shades franchise is finally coming to an end, or, as the wink-wink marketing keeps purring, a climax. In the final chapter, we’re giddy with questions that require an answer. Will two attractive yet underwritten characters keep having mildly kinky sex? And then, ermmmm, oh wait, that’s literally just it.”
Travis Johnson, Film Ink:
“‘Fifty Shades Freed,’ the third filmic adaptation of EL James’ briefly popular BDSM erotica series, is marginally better than its predecessor, ‘Fifty Shades Darker,’ in much the same way that being shot through the head is better than being guillotined; at the very least, there’s not all that blinking and wondering where your body has gone.”
Roger Moore, Movie Nation:
“At least this time, some of the laughs are intentional. These movies have all been slick, with the sheen of high-tone porn about them, which partly explains why the middle aged (and younger) of middle America have flocked to them. James Foley, who sexualized Reese Witherspoon in ‘Fear’ way back in the last millennium, has no new tricks up his sleeve. Thus, more sex scenes, only slightly more titillating than those that preceded it. The soap suds bubble through clearer than ever, the laughably melodramatic twists in the plot, the car chase, the conspicuous consumption of E.L. James’s novels — who knew ‘If you write it, you will eventually own it, when the public eats this soft-core swill up.'”
Ben Croll, Screen International:
“Less a film than a closing coda buffed up, blinged out and spread thin throughout a feature-length runtime, ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ offers fans of the three-strong series a chance to send off their favourite characters with all the opulence and tastefully soft-core decadence they’ve come to expect from previous installments, gorging on the series’ luxurious embellishments while all but jettisoning any hint of narrative tension or engagement along the way. As the opening titles – which begin with the leads’ picture book marriage and then follows them on a European honeymoon straight out of a Pinterest vision board – make clear, the film knows exactly what its audience wants, and sets out to deliver it on every shallow front.”
Leigh Paatsch, Herald Sun Australia:
“That’s right, after the first two tempestuous movie kink-a-thons from author EL James seduced the world box-office and made off with over a billion dollars, ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ is here to zip up, give you a quick peck on the cheek, and disappear. The whole experience has been like a bad Tinder date that lasted three years. The best that can be said of ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ is that it offers the lasting relief of knowing the franchise won’t ever be calling for another hook-up.”