Climaxing this Friday from Universal Pictures and director James Foley is the final film in a trilogy that brings us “Fifty Shades Freed.”
Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) has received a ring from the unusual man of her dreams, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). After a beautiful wedding, the two jet off to Europe for a honeymoon of sun and spending time as only these newlyweds can. Back in Seattle, someone is trying to sabotage Christian’s family when files are stolen and a fire is set.
The Greys immediately return and as Christian investigates what is happening. Ana returns to her job to discover that she has been given a promotion. It’s important to her because the person responsible for what is happening is Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), who clearly has an agenda to bring down the Greys.
Realizing her life has been a whirlwind, Ana reconnects with Kate (Eloise Mumford) spending time together over the watchful eye of her bodyguard Sawyer (Brant Daugherty) while Christian is out of town. Upset with Ana, he understands that she misses the company of her friends. Arranging time with Kate, Jose (Victor Rasuk) and his siblings Mia (Rita Ora) and Elliot (Luke Grimes), they learn an unexpected surprise.
Relaxed and back to work, it isn’t long before Jack’s back! Being attacked is more than Ana and Christian can take, and after more surprising family news, the couple’s next event is staggering. Ana must now make a decision without Christian that is dangerous and could cost her everything.
Johnson as Anastasia is much stronger in this film, and it’s nice to see. I think my favorite part is when she puts architect Gia Matteo on the hot seat by staking her claim to the house Christian has bought for them and being called “Mrs. Grey.” She also lets her new husband know that their life together is important, but so is working and friendships. Christian is discovering that his new wife is much stronger than he ever gave her credit for. I think I like Johnson in this film the best.
Dornan as Christian begins to show his weaker side in this film, and that’s not a bad thing. For a character that spent two films being in control of everything, it was only a matter of time before the cracks would begin to show. Those insecurities lead Christian to make some seriously dumb decisions and this stronger Ana gives him the what-for in no uncertain terms! Dornan’s Christian is in new territory, but the women in the audience adore both the character and the actor, so forgiveness flowed in the theater.
Eric Johnson as Jack clearly is still angry about his firing, Ana’s quick rise in the publishing world and a few secrets that Christian is determined to find out. Let’s be honest, crazy people do crazy things, and Jack lives up to that and does so in plain sight. His goal is one thing: To make Ana pay for what he believes she has done and give the Grey family reasons to be nervous.
Mumford returns as Ana’s friend Kate with a few surprises in store for her, Grimes as brother Elliot shares a little of Christian’s childhood and sees that he is finally happy, Ora returns as sister Mia who is still protective of her adoptive brother. Harden returns as Christian’s mother Grace who believes in her son and is supportive when things go a little awry.
Other cast includes Max Martini as Taylor, Jennifer Ehle as Carla, Bruce Altman as Jerry Roach, Arielle Kebbel as Gia Matteo, Callum Keith Rennie as Ray, Robinne Lee as Ros Bailey and Marcia Gay Harden as Grace Grey.
“Fifty Shades Freed” brings the story of Anastasia and Christian full circle and pushes a little past for those who truly want to know how their life plays out. I heard a woman next to me at the screening say she was a little sad there wasn’t more of the wedding shown and, as with the “Twilight” films, everyone wants to see more of the beautiful dress.
The story does take off fairly quickly, not giving much time for the couple or the audience to settle in. Jack returns to make sure to put a kibosh on a happy newlywed beginning. The honeymoon is over when security guards become part of the Grey’s new married life. It was nice to see Ana return to a job she obviously loves but also make it known that she wants a life of friends and normalcy.
Of course, the “Fifty Shades” films give audiences their soft-core sex scenes that haven’t been shy in any way since it first hit screens in 2015, and “Fifty Shades Freed” is no exception. What is new in the films is the insecurities Christian can no longer hide from. In the first two films he is calm, cool and a bit on the controlling side. This film he throws a few tantrums that made the women in the audience gasp a little, but that’s what happens when all that control starts slipping away.
Erika Mitchell wrote under the pen name of E.L. James when writing her “Fifty Shades” trilogy. There is also “Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian” novel that was released last year. Possible there could be another “Fifty Shades” film? I think there are fans who would like to see that happen.
I have no doubt that those who love the “Fifty Shades” books will gather up like-minded gals for a fun night at the movies. Have dinner, a few drinks and cheer the new couple on their alternative life together. Nothing wrong with a little Friday night Grey!
In the end — Mrs. Grey will see you now!