Obviously, for those who haven’t seen Fifty Shades Freed yet…
A few weeks ago, I won a drawing to attend an early pre-screening of Fifty Shades Freed. It was built up to be this big media event with press, and studio executives… turns out it was really just like going to see any other movie. But that’s fine because it was free and I got to see it a day earlier. Take that, countdown app!
So, Wednesday night, my cousin and I got all dressed up, went and had dinner at the Space Needle (for the most Seattle-y experience one could have, obviously), and headed off to the movies. But standing there, in the long line of other contest winners, the pure, unadulterated excitement that consumed me prior to seeing both Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker was not there. I was happy to be there, I was looking forward to seeing the movie, but there was absolutely no chance I was going to pee my pants.
It was an odd moment.
I think it was because of Fifty Shades Darker. It’s my favorite book of the trilogy and after the interminably long wait between 2015 and 2017, I was out of control with anticipation. I said in my last review that I obsessively stalked filming updates with near religious conviction, and it wasn’t an exaggeration. I’m pretty sure I’m the reason the Fifty Shades Darker trailer broke the Star Wars view record. I think my phone might STILL be playing it on repeat…
But when I left the theater after Fifty Shades Darker, I was feeling let down. Upon retrospect, I did it to myself. I overloaded before I even got to see it until it was built up to this great big thing that nothing could ever actually have measured up to, and it ruined an experience for me that, two years prior, was amazing.
Note: In order to test this theory, I am also willing to have sex with Jamie Dornan. Just to see if you really can over hype something into mediocrity.
I made a promise to myself with Freed. I wasn’t going to ruin it this time. I wasn’t going to DVR all the talk shows or live stream the premier. I wasn’t going to watch the trailer 50,000 times or even watch any of the promo clips that were released in the weeks leading up to it. I was going to go into this movie with absolutely no expectations.
And here’s how that turned out:
You guys. It’s so good. Like, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. I left the theater last night unable to stop talking about it (Sorry, husband). I’m actually mad that I’m not watching it right now. I want to go into my bedroom, turn on my TV, pull up my Amazon library, and scream at both Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker for NOT being Fifty Shades Freed.
Let’s discuss, shall we?
I know you’re all going to take this with a grain of salt because of the source material, but he was so good. I feel they changed Christian’s character a bit from the books, but I love every second of it. He was so funny and warm in this movie. He made me fall in love with Christian in a whole new way. Spoiler: There’s a scene at the end where he’s trying to cook Anastasia dinner and he burns everything, including my loins, and while Ana gives him a bit of a hard time for it, he just pushes the pan aside and says, “Fuck it, let’s get take out.” I. Die.
I love Dakota Johnson, and this is in no way a dig at her (since I put Jamie and not Christian), but I LOVE Anastasia’s character in this movie. Anastasia Steele might have been meek and shy, but Anastasia Grey is a badass. She will knife you if you stare too long at her husband, she will run your ass off the motherfucking road if you want to chase her on the highway, and she will get FINALLY get on her knees and do the deed for her very giving man. She’s still hilarious and warm and cute, but I loved the strength of her character so much in this movie. 10/10, Ana. Get it, gurl.
The Honeymoon Montage:
This was just cuteness overload. Most of what came before the beach scenes was just quick flashes of them running through Paris, but it was seriously SO sweet. Spoiler: There’s a quick scene of them running through the pouring rain into this little cafe and Christian is shielding them both with his jacket. When they sit at the table, Ana has to dump water out of her shoes, but they both just laugh. They’re both clearly so happy and in love. Ugh, I loved it so much. Even the sex during the honeymoon was romantic and sweet, not gratuitous. It might be one of my favorite parts of the movie.
Apparently there was some outcry about Ben and Jerry’s and Ana not being included in Fifty Shades Darker because we get it in the Aspen scene, and it’s just as hot as it was in the books. We still didn’t get the D, but Jamie’s pants were not present for every sex scene the way there were in Darker. It was explicit and prevalent. Freed is only like an hour and a half long and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 30 full minutes of that was sex.
I think that the music has been good in every movie, it’s something the Fifty Shades franchise has really excelled at. In fact, for all of my friends who hate Fifty Shades (don’t be too hard on them, everyone is wrong about something or another) I always refer to the first movie as Oscar Nominated Fifty Shades of Grey, because Earned It got a nomination for best original song. Anyway, Freed killed it. The music was perfectly chosen and really just made the whole thing cohesive. Unlike I Don’t Wanna Live in Darker, I was never wishing they would turn the music down so we could hear the dialogue better.
They actually filmed a lot of the aerial/car chase scenes IN Seattle, so that felt really nice to me. No fake 12 flags to report this time, folks.
I think this is actually where the first two movies have their biggest weakness. Well, this and the scripts. The first two dragged in some places and were too rushed in others. But this movie felt really well paced the whole way through. Honestly, because of how well this was edited and put together, I think it’s my favorite of all three movies.
I could go on, I want to. Jack Hyde, more scenes of the entire ensemble, Luke Saywer’s gorgeous blue eyes… But I think it’s time we get to:
But for literally the opposite reason this was my least favorite part of the book. In the book, this part just drags on and on without any purpose or reason. In the movie, it’s really not long at all. BUT the club scene where the guy feels up Ana on the dance floor and Christian punches him out, you know, the one we saw in the trailer, that’s not in the movie at all. Elliot proposes, then everyone dances a little bit, Ana kisses Christian and suddenly it goes into this weird spliced scene between Ana and Christian in the red room and Ana in her office the next Monday. It’s a very jarring transition and honestly made the whole club thing pointless. I’m hoping we’re going to get more of this scene in the extended cut, because, as is, it’s baffling.
The scene where Ana tells Christian she’s pregnant fell flat for me for the same reason the Christian submissive scene fell flat in Darker. It was SO rushed. There was no shock, realization, anger… it was just:
Ana: I’m pregnant
Christian: Instantly furious.
But also, not really furious. Jamie toned Christian down a lot, so he gets mad and storms off, but not in a Christian Grey epic meltdown kind of way. The table didn’t even get flipped. There wasn’t enough build up to this scene and so his following actions just didn’t seem realistic for me. That might not be an issue for anyone else, but if I was going to point to one pacing issue, that would be it.
And that’s it! THAT’S ALL OF THE BAD.
It really was such a good movie. The best of the three in my opinion and I can’t wait to see it again. I’m a little devastated that this franchise is coming to a close. I’m going to miss the anticipation for these movies so, so much. I really hope Jamie and Dakota both go on to have amazing, lucrative careers, and make plenty more films for me to indulge in for years to come.
Thanks for the ride, EL James. It truly has been remarkable.
23 thoughts on “Fifty Shades Freed: Don’t Miss the Climax (He He)”
awesome review! I can’t wait to see it! I will either see it tomorrow night or saturday night… or even sunday night! Idk I will see.
On a different note, do we have any updates on when the outtakes will start to be published? Now that you have seen the movie!
Thank you so much for such a detailed review.. I really appreciate it cause I can’t watch the movie it ban in my country. Again thank you..
You know, I promised myself that I wouldn’t see any spoiler, that I would only see the trailer (it is like impossible to ignore it because it is everywhere…). But I didn’t. I saw almost the full movie through spoilers. And I am not disappointed. I mean. It was like having this anticipating feeling with every new small video, like crying and loving it, that all for a full week. And know it is true that I’m not super excited to go to the cinema (I know I will be just like “ah, well, I already have seen it” 🤷🏽♀️). But I was excited and crying all week and I had like 7 whole days of emotion instead of one, so is a win by win.
And like always, I agree with you on everything. The worst is the rushed parts… I really hope that there are the scenes missing from the movies on the dvd (and please… we had to pay for an actor to play Flynn and Linc… they just cannot erase them).
I am like… oh it is over. But it isn’t. There isn’t more Jamie and Dakota together (at least not likely), but there are interviews, there is a new chapter every monday that makes you feel like a new movie is getting out every week… you know, it is over when we decide is over.
They weren’t the best books, God know that literally they are a little overrated… but c’mon, they tell us such a beautiful story, one that we can extend in our minds as long as we want… we have EL James to thank for that. Even after reading tons of new books similar to Fifty shades, no one can wake up my excitament like them. Glad that I can extend it a little more with the fanfics, and thank you for making one of the most beautiful stories and letting us prolong the path. ♥️
I complete,y agree with everything you’ve written, has to be my favorite but some things to me just seemed lacking for me but I will be seeing it again and hoping the DVD has extra footage 🙂
I love your review and i agree.
Jamie and Dakota was the best to play Christian and Ana’s role.
And Eric jonhson is really a great actor when i saw how funny he is and see him in the movie he scary me sometimes lol he was very great.
The only point different from you in my opinion is the scene with the topless because for me we didn’t see how mad Christian was really mad about it.
I can’t imagine it’s over.
Can’t wait for the dvd and see more scene.
Im leaving shortly to see this final installment in our beloved series and i have mixed emotions…what am i going to look forward to? Dakota? Jamie? Im gonna miss these characters but im so excited to see this and by your review i know its all going to be worth it!!
I agree with you hundred percent. This was the best of the three movies And I really felt the connection between Anna and Christian in this last movie. I saw it last week on February 1 LA premiere and was overwhelmed because Jamie and Dakota and Brian and EL and the whole cast was there ,so I felt weird seeing them there as themselves and then watching the movie while they were in character . I’m going to see it with girlfriends this weekend and get the whole movie experience instead of being in a twilight zone kind of atmosphere LOL !
Thanks for the great review. You voiced similar “highs” and “lows” in the same spots of the film as others have so I’ll probably agree when I see it which isn’t until NEXT FRIDAY! ☹️
I may sneak and see it by myself first without the girlfriends. Shhhh….. 😎
Warm greetings to you, Tara. I’ve watched Freed twice, it is way, way, way, too short! The lemons are so few. Contrary to bad reviews, I love it. Mainly because it is the most beautiful love story and because of Dakota and Jamie. They’re my perfect Ana and Christian. Christian in Freed is so loving, not as thermonuclear in the books. Exactly right what you said about Ana. The honeymoon scenes could have been longer, they’re gorgeous and heavenly, too short! Dakota and Jamie’s chemistry, so strong and binding, they’re beautiful to watch.
I am saddened it is the end and no more promotions or Dakota and Jamie together. I already miss them, love them lots.
Thank You, EL James, for creating such an irresistible and desirable story. Thank You, Tara, for continuing Ana and Christian’s love journeys. Your amazing writings keep their love alive. Look forward to your works. Xoxo daytona
I’m going tonight and can’t wait! I keep teasing my friend that we need to find a support group to help us deal with it all ending! Seriously..I hope I can make it out of the theater without crying. 😭
The best of the three. Loved it.
Perfectly stated, I couldn’t agree with you more dear author!!!
I agree whole heartedly in your assessment regarding the “bad” parts with an addition. I was expecting after the punishment scene on their honeymoon for Christian to be remorseful. But the cooking scene at the end was so adorable. Can’t wait for dvd with the unedited or extended version to see all the scenes that were cut from theatre.
Thanks for the detailed review. I have not seen the movie but I will enjoy seeing it anytime soon when I get home from my vacation. The Blu-Ray dvd and bonus dvd hope will supplement the missing scenes. Will miss Jamie and Dakota, they really brought the books to life and to tell you the truth I only read the books after I saw them on the trailers of FSOG. The books did not make me a loyal fan of the fifty movies. The main casts did it for me. Be waiting for your next book to start. Have a wonderful day.
I just finished watching it, and I LOVED IT. Jamie really did turn Christian into a more complete character in this movie, and Dakota was absolutely amazing as Ana. I agree that the pacing was really well done and that there were only one or two choppy sequences.
And the very end with them and Teddy at the big house gave me so many fangirly feelings. Ugh, my heart. I can’t wait to own this on Blu-Ray.
I’m so glad to see the review is so much more positive than the previous critics’ mush. (Mom said Freed got nominated for Raspberries or whatever those things are called for worst movies of the year.)
Like others, the Fifty Shades Darker movie fell flat to me because it played out like a television episode where the music is hyped up and cued to play at the EXACT same time in the scene, the editing was ridiculous, and SO MUCH was left out of the THEATER version that you couldn’t really follow it if you hadn’t read the book. i mean, if you are letting the MUSIC set the mood for the scene AND to say what the cahracters are SUPPOSED to be feeling, then you have messed up, at least in my opinion. (AND I was SO disappointed in the hack job of the theater version, due to 50 Shades Darker being my favorite book of the trilogy as well.)
I mean, my Dad, who would NEVER read the books, actually loved the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. (My Mom and I were SO shocked when he ran off with my blu-ray!) He watched it because Dakota Johnson was in it, and he had liked Melanie Griffith (and of course, Melanie’s mother, who was in a Hitchcock movie). So my Dad wanted to see what kind of actress Dakota had turned out to be and if she resembled her ever-so-important movie actress pedigree. So my Dad was demanding my Fifty Shades Darker blu-ray before I had even gotten to see it! But he was unable to follow or get through the second movie and gave up and has groused endlessly about EL James not sticking to her original director, etc.
Part of the problem, in my opinion, was that someone tried to make Jamie and Dakota into the characters portrayed in the second book, and that just didn’t work exactly. It sounds like the Third movie finally let them be THEIR versions of the characters, which will naturally be different from the books. (AND let’s face it, I don’t think I could have tolerated Jamie being as harsh as Christian was, at times, in the books. It is one thing to read something, and an ENTIRELY different thing to see it play out across the screen.) PLUS, Jamie’s Christian has been GROWING from movie to movie, and seeing him be the completely cold frozen guy from the first movie, even if briefly, would NOT have made sense.
So it sounds like this one gets it right. AND when I FINALLY get to see it, I will DEFINITELY view the FULL unedited version that will be on the blu-ray, rather than the too-edited-for-time theater version.
I’m hoping that EL James likes the money coming her way from the films and decides to do a fourth book sometime soon in the future. THEN we could get more Dakota and Jamie on our screens. One can always dream, as Christian frequently says in Darker!
Hey Tara! I saw the movie today and I was avoiding your review until now. I know you gave us a Spoiler Alert, but I didn’t trust myself, lol! This was my favorite of them all also. I agree with all you’ve written. I also thought that Elliot’s proposal received too much focus. I especially didn’t like Ana popping up out of her coma. But, Jamie’s tears made me cry. It was sooo sweet. With that said, I’m so sad about this all coming to an end. I’m going to miss these crazy kids. At least I have your talented writing to look forward to. 💕
I agree with you 100%. This movie was definitely the best out the of the 3 for me. I’m sad to see this all come to an end but I’m great full for the books and movies and all the FF that have spun from it! Thanks for your review the movie was truly wonderful and I can’t help but wait until the unrated dvd comes out, so we can see what extras we get.
At the risk of gettin roasted by all the fine people on this thread I hate to say it but….I don’t think I liked it. 😢
I thought the pacing was poor, it was WAY too short, and most of the scenes felt rushed. Plus….we never actually saw Jaime come out of the water during the honeymoon montage or Elena opening the door for him to Eaclava after he learned about the pregnancy. These shots were in the previews; where were they in the film? Were they in there and I somehow missed them?
I only hope the extra footage in the directors cut will fill in the gaps. I thought the extra minutes of the film in Darker made it much better than what was shown in theaters.. Just frustrated that it wasn’t long enough to do the story justice.
We’d never roast you 🙂
I would agree it was too short too, but I would have loved a 5 hour long movie so…
Hah! Thanks. I’ll see it again. Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind? I really, really want to like it. It’s the big finish, after all. 😀
THat was another thing that I didn’t like about the theater version of the 2nd movie—the pacing was so poor, jumping from one scene to the other. And like a tv show, it would have a song for each scene, and the SONG would say more than the scene. However, the FULL uncut version on the DVD/blu-ray was decent. AND gave you the pool table scene and other gems which weren’t in the theater version, DESPITE the previews.
So I’m guessing that the 3rd movie, like the second, will have all those moments from the previews in the actual uncut version. (And let’s face it, they BETTER find a way to make ALL those juicy half-naked Jamie moments appear in the uncut version, because WHY would you ever cut those out? After all, they made Jamie work out to get the bod they thought Christian should have and that the fans expected. So why then cut moments out that SHOW the results of those workouts? That is just WRONG, I tell ya!)