Well movie geeks, it’s that time, the final chapter to the unbelievable relationship of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. I remember like it was yesterday, or should I say two days ago when I decided to re watch the first one, when Ms. Steele tripped over her own insecurities when those elevators opened and the dapper handsome Mr. Gray helps her up and it was love at first sight. Two movies later full of sex, love, whips, chains, and some of the weirdest conversations between two people and we are at the final chapter of the movie adaptation of the popular book series created by E.L. James and directed by James Foley.
In the third and possibly final installment, they have gone through all their baggage trying to balance out their wants and needs in the relationship and decide to tie the knot. The wedding is probably the only reasonable and normal scene close to real life that others can relate to. After that, it’s back to being the over the top fantasy out of a romance novel antics we all come to see. So, what do they do for the other hour and thirty minutes? I’ll give you one guess. While they had their clothes on they are dealing with flirty realtors, new bodyguards, and the growing obsession of Anastasia’s old boss Jack as he seeks revenge. You remember Jack, the one who tried to have sex with her in the office but it backfired and he ended up fired and she took his job. Of course, Jack is pissed, but its deeper than that and that gets explored in this film as they try to add more thrills to this thriller.
By the third movie, there are not any surprises. What you expect is going to happen in this flick. That goes for both fans and anti-fans of this hyper-sexed love affair. Gray reminds us he has all the money in the world. Anastasia still is trying to change him by continuing to defy him any chance she gets. Blah Blah Blah. So why do I keep coming back. Since I wasn’t too impressed with the second installment Fifty Shades Darker, I didn’t expect this follow-up to be any better. I can’t help it though, I just like watching these two be together. As crazy as they both are, they work for each other. It’s a yin and yang thing. The transformation with both of them is just fun to watch and if you were to put a before and after picture of Anastasia Steele when they first met vs. Anastasia Grey, you would be very impressed.
As much to Grey’s request to turn her into his submissive and control her every move, she refuses to be a lap dog as she holds a job as an editor at Seattle Independent Publishing. She insists on having a social life with her friends and not become one of those wives that abandons her friends and family for her man, and she definitely doesn’t let any other woman get between her new husband. She is more adventurous out and especially in the bedroom. As much as she wanted to have a normal relationship with Grey, she continues to push her own boundaries by satisfying her husbands needs sexually. There is a scene where she takes the car out for a spin and let’s just say that Grey didn’t even know she had this side to her.
Grey on the other hand has definitely become domestic. He showers his new wife with gifts and trips around the world while still being the man in the relationship but usually lets Anastasia have her way. That doesn’t mean he is going soft. Anything but based on those hot and steamy scenes they seem to find themselves in every 10 mins in the film. Grey is still dealing with his pass in more ways in one and trying to come to terms with letting go of some of the things that is keeping him from being completely happy and free to live the great life with Anastasia. You can tell that Grey would die for Anastasia and can’t see himself in a world without her. He is still a romantic and the little gestures he does for her proves that and it’s nice to watch.
Let’s be honest, Hollywood hasn’t really used sex in their films, especially explicit scenes to tell a story like it was back in the late 90’s or earlier. There just doesn’t seem to be a point anymore in that kind of film making to bring people to the theatre. With the exception of The Boy Next Door with J. Lo and Ryan Guzman sweaty sex scene, I can’t remember there being sex in film as part of their story telling. With this franchise there is a lot of it. My point is, I don’t mind seeing horizontal action in films as long as it’s tasteful and has meaning to the story. Couples have sex all the time but when you are watching a movie, with every sex scene is less time for character development and storytelling. These two are in the mood ALL the time and some of the scenes last longer than they should. For no reason at all, they just decide it’s a reason to get it on, especially right after they have a fight or disagreement about something. There was just too much of it and after a while it just becomes pointless and frustrating. In the previous films, there was reasons for it because they were still exploring their limits in what they were into and how far they are willing to go to please each other. Just when you think the couple was evolving and the story is picking up it stops and they have sex again. As for the thrills, every time they are in danger, it gets resolved very quickly. It just looks poorly executed, that it doesn’t really classify as a thriller to be on the edge of my seat about. There are more of these scenes in the movie but at the end of the day you don’t fear for these characters but what can you expect from a movie based on a romance novel.
Bottom line is, you know whether or not if this movie is for you or not. This is not a movie that was made to please everyone. This was made for the fans of the books or anyone who enjoys a cheesy look into the lives of the rich and semi famous and their erotic escapades. The acting is par with what these characters are asking of their actors. I enjoyed Rita Ora’s character Mia, Grey’s sister, a lot in this movie. She has more screen time. Sadly, I didn’t get enough of Arielle Kebbel. Judging from the trailer, it looked like that was going to be a plotline throughout the film. Fifty Shades of Grey was about discovery and limitations, Fifty Shades Darker deals with redemption and acceptance, Freed handles forgiveness and commitment. While starting a new marriage, both Christian and Anastasia has to handle their own responsibilities of commitment to each other as well as themselves and learn to forgive each other for their past indiscretion and their own personal demons. This isn’t the best entry but an improvement from Darker as the story was more structured. It is unsatisfying to see the way this trilogy ends with a lazy plot over saturated love scenes. Not much new was brought to the table story wise with this film as it played out like extra footage cut out from Darker. I was still entertained throughout the film as this is a guilty pleasure that I am not ashamed to admit. I told everyone I was going to this movie and stood proud by that. Is this a film to rush to the theatre for, probably not but if you are a fan since day one, you will enjoy it for what it is and put a close to the fantasy that is Anastasia and Christian.
3 ½ out of 5
Thank you for reading this review. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I liked writing it. Comment your thoughts on the film and the franchise. You are going to have all the websites say this is a waste of time but there are those who don’t mind turning their brain off and enjoying a fictional tale. Answer me this, can this film be more than just a guilty pleasure but a movie that you look forward to seeing and not feeling bad about it? I’ll see you at the movies.