Despite being obliterated by Black Panther a week after its release, Fifty Shades Freed enjoyed a solid box office opening and steady home video use. The concluding chapter of the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy, this romantic S & M flick is a popular franchise that no one in public admits to liking. Of the three Fifty Shades films, Fifty Shades Freed is the second best of the trilogy.
For the first half of the movie, we witness the same naked aerobics between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan that we have seen in the previous two movies. During these scenes of passion, the musical soundtrack loudly explains Anastasia (Johnson) and Christian’s (Dornan) interior thoughts and motives. There is less S & M in this film, but there is a homage to Kim Basinger/Mickey Rourke music videos that were used to promote Andrian Lyne’s movie from 1986, 9 1/2 Weeks.
The second half of Fifty Shades Freed ties in all of the loose plot threads (A true cynic would ask, ‘There was a plot?’) of the previous movies. Anastasia and Christian have stalker issues, while there is corporate intrigue involving computer hacking. As if it were not cliched enough, Anastasia and Christian have a spat about making babies.
With a sense of guilty pleasure, Fifty Shades Freed does hold one’s attention. Unlike the lumbering second movie, the film does present growth, personal responsibility and maturity.
From the first movie to the last, we witness the virginal and over-dressed Anastasia transform into a married woman who eagerly subscribes to topless sunbathing in the French Rivera.
Of course, the high profile media magnate Christian Grey is not happy with his newlywed’s exhibitionism and he schedules a session in his little red room. Fifty Shades Freed provided closure to the Fifty Shades trilogy.
The Meg opens this weekend at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science. Since the dawn of the Internet, The Meg has been in Hollywood development Hell …for 20 years. Based on a series of novels by Steve Alten about prehistoric giant megalodon shark, Jason Statham stars as the title character’s main foil. To appreciate the size of The Meg, check out the permanent Meg exhibit found in the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science.
Of course, a few blocks down the road, Savor Cinema hosts the Popcorn Frights Film Festival, concluding a summer series, but opening the door for Halloween season!