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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review – Final wink to kink sets fans free

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) tie the knot in the third film of the Fifty Shades series. This film wraps up the trilogy that brought BDSM to the big screen and snagged mainstream attention. Photo courtesy Universal Pictures

By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief

Fifty Shades Freed, the climactic final chapter of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, is the best of the series though still wildly problematic and cringeworthy at times.

In the kinky but conservative film, the adventurous sex once again turns out to be fairly vanilla missionary sex just with handcuffs. Dakota Johnson’s weekend sexual submissive, Anastasia Steele, returns, and the film begins with her seeming to finally pin down Jamie Dornan’s dom daddy, Christian Grey, as the two tie the knot and jet off to a dreamy European honeymoon.

But despite wedding bands, the series’ running theme of a power struggle rather than a partnership between the two continues.

Inserted among the lavish vacations and sexy romps are kidnappings, car chases and baby drama. Anastasia’s former boss, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), returns as promised at the end of “Darker,” seeking revenge against the Greys: Ana, for having him fired for trying to sexually assault her and Christian and his adoptive family for reasons too sensitive to mention without spoiling the film.

Freed has moments ranging from edge-of-your-seat exciting to hot and steamy and from sickeningly sweet to “Oh my God, Christian, you’re a grown man. ACT LIKE IT!”

Overall, it’s just a lot to cram into an hour and 45 minutes.

In addition to Ana’s former boss and his attacks on the couple and the rest of the Grey family, Ana and Christian also struggle with things like revenge sexual punishment and when or if they’ll ever have a baby, a question most couples explore pre-fairytale wedding and honeymoon, but I digress.

Christian continues to sound off emotionally abusive alarm bells with his textbook narcissistic psychopath behavior, like wanting to keep his wife to himself and pouting that a baby will get in the way of his sadistic “red room” activities. If they ever look to rebrand, they should consider the title: “Sleeping with a Sadist Sociopath.”

But Freed’s failure to make sense of Christian and his chauvinistic ways is perhaps the most liberating aspect of the film. Hopefully those that have spent the last two films longing for the billionaire will see he’s still got some serious issues he’s not properly dealing with.

The most troublesome moment in the film is when Christian crosses a line in the playroom when anger, not love, motivates his actions. For the first time, Ana uses her safe word.

Though it’s a troubling scene to watch, especially in the aftermath of last year’s #MeToo movement, it is an important scene that explores the necessity of boundaries in BDSM.

Dornan provides another painful performance, reminiscent of Robert Pattinson’s first Twilight film, but on the bright side, Johnson makes the otherwise boring Ana shine with more than enough charm to make up for her co-star. She absolutely sparkles in her scenes, like where she had to deliver an angry, character-defining monologue with her hair dripping wet, topless and pulling on pantyhose and boots before the rest of her clothes.

As the Fifty Shades film trilogy hangs up its paddle, viewers are afforded a chance to bid the happy, horny couple a pleasantly boring life together as a flash forward to them in their new house follows a highlight reel of scenes from the first two films.

Given that the series grossed nearly $1 billion with its first two films, Freed should likewise draw a good crowd even though it doesn’t wrap things up with a bang.

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