|Directed by||:||James Foley||Produced by||:||Michael De Luca, E. L. James, Dana Brunetti, Marcus Viscidi||Based on||:||Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James||Starring||:||Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden||Production company||:||Perfect World Pictures, Michael De Luca Productions, Trigger Street Productions||Distributed by||:||Universal Pictures|
'Fifty Shades Freed' Review: Welcome to the Most Painful 'Shades' of All
What timing! In the era of #MeToo and #Time's Up, it hardly seems like the moment for a movie about a woman who does the sexual bidding of a powerful rich dude. (Though it might be just the ticket on whatever island Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., James Toback, Jeremy Piven and other accused male predators are hiding out on.) Audiences are in for two hours of cruel and unusual punishment, even as the third and blessedly final chapter in the film trilogy based on E.L. James' bestselling bucket of S&M swill conjures up a happy ending for Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and whipmaster hubby Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Can sex, referred to here as "kinky fuckery," really be this dull, this sanitized, this devoid of human interest?
Screenwriter Niall Leonard, a.k.a. Ms James' loyal husband, and James Foley, a fine director (Glengary Glen Ross, At Close Range, several House of Cards episodes) who has no matrimonial excuse for participating, are back for a second go-round. They rejoin Anastasia – Ana to her intimates – and her sadist prince after a glossy honeymoon in France, complete with breaks for being blindfolded and worked over with her husband's tools. Once they're back in Seattle, Christian does whatever gazillionaires do and Ana plies her trade as a fiction editor. Mr. Grey owns the publishing house, but tells his bride that she got the job through "talent and hard work" – to be fair, she is extremely good at instructing assistants to "increase a font size by two points." Her future in the industry is all but assured.