The phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey is going out the same way it came in to movie theaters: with a snore, according to critics. They've given the third and final installment of the film series a lousy 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, complaining mainly about a lack of passion in a film that's supposed to be about kinky sex between characters Anastasia and Christian. More on Fifty Shades Freed, which follows 2017's Fifty Shades Darker, based on the novels by EL James:
- After taking viewers on a trip through France, "Fifty Shades Freed suddenly turns into a thriller" and "the filmmakers are equally as incompetent at this genre as they are at generating erotic heat in Christian's playroom," writes Peter Travers at Rolling Stone. He calls the film the "most painful" of the series and "two hours of cruel and unusual punishment" throughout which Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan "look as bored as we are."
- Kate Taylor is no more kind at the Globe and Mail. "The franchise's hint of self-deprecation" is gone and "romance-novel boilerplate that sounded clichéd on the page becomes outright laughable" on screen, she writes. The sex is no better, "less erotic" than in earlier movies. Apparently to make up for that, there's "a lame kidnapping plot that could barely fill a network cop show on an off night," Taylor writes. "Did someone say 'freed' already? Yes, please."
- Gary M. Kramer disagrees at Salon. "The film seems to have an intentional sense of humor" and is both romantic and sexy as it includes "the only truly erotic scene in the entire trilogy," one that involves ice cream. Overall, Fifty Shades Freed is "actually really mostly pretty good" and the best of the series, he says. "There is a whole season full of soap operatics in store for viewers here and that is partly what makes it so enjoyable."
- Sure, Fifty Shades Freed is the "least aggravating" film of the trilogy, but that doesn't make it a good movie, James Berardinelli writes at ReelViews. Among his complaints: there's no "steam" to the sex scenes, Johnson and Dornan lack chemistry, and the plot just isn't compelling. Still, "I didn't hate the movie and there's sufficient eye candy to keep it from being a complete snoozer," Berardinelli writes.
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