"Dr., come quick! This one has a pulse!"
Ok, I'll just come out and say it: I've always held the opinion that, in theory, a Fifty Shades of Grey film was an attractive concept. In this theory, the mediocre (or terrible) source material would be brought to film and used as a jumping off point to tell the story of an individual(s) who engages in less than usual sexual activities and how that relationship/interaction plays out in a very real way. What effect do these weird sexual encounters have on these people let alone their relationship? Are they exactly the same, with this one major difference? What causes a person to want that and in turn want to be a part of a relationship that involves this kind of intercourse? All very interesting questions that could make for real drama and fascinating fodder for a talented creative team. But, as you almost certainly know, that is very much the reality. The films we got were lifeless messes that really didn't do anything new or interesting creatively (financially is a different story). Often times they didn't even really deliver on the rather explicit draw of the franchise and now the third film is here and it.......also doesn't deliver on that promise.
Well at least not fully; Freed does have an inkling of what the last two films have been missing but never enough to justify its existence. The film just buries those few weird sex scenes under boring and generic relationship drama and completely over-the-top scenarios (an abduction with a price tag of $5 Million, honestly what the fuck). The problem becomes that these two things are so directly in conflict with each other. You can't maintain the personal stakes between these two already poorly developed characters (even though the two main actors do give admirable efforts) and also expect the audience to care about this completely insane car chase that comes out of nowhere. It just doesn't work just like not having that much weird sex stuff in your weird sex movie.
To be fair there is some (as mentioned above), including a scene involving some ice cream which is odd and semi-comedic. But all it does is make you wonder why these types of scenes and this weirdly comedic tone don't make up a majority of this franchise. I will give this film credit for getting some it right but as a whole, it's still a failure like the rest of this franchise. There is one silver lining to this franchise, however. I hope it shows that it is indeed financially viable, and most likely wanted, to make the kind of movie that I theorized about earlier properly. When that happens I may look back upon this franchise as a necessary evil, but until then these films are better served being left by the cultural wayside as we move full steam ahead.
Al Pacino Rating: