Ana Steele and Christian Grey are now married. You can stick a finger down your throat any time you’d like. They’re at first on their honeymoon, but an attack on Grey Enterprises that the couple are able to identify as Jack Hyde, Ana’s former boss at her publishing firm who got disowned and fired after he tried to touch her and Christian shut him down. Also, Ana is considering having kids, but whenever she brings it up to Christian, it’s almost like she suggested they get divorced or something. And that might be, unsurprisingly, on the horizon. But in the meantime, they’re trying their best to enjoy some wholehearted fooling around, basically in denial of anything bad happening until it all bleeds their safe words dry.
Is this better than the other two? Well...maybe. And I know, I gave the exact same grade to the last movie, Darker. But the last scene (besides the during-credits sequence) is them having more painful fun, and up until then it was more like a D+. There’s more than one way to skin a kitten. I also guess that critics can only take so much of something agonizing until it’s just merely blindly accepting.
Feel free to disagree with me, but I think sex and kisses are supposed to convey unconditional love. They’re supposed to show how much these two intertwined people feel confident enough and happy enough with the other to let them be open and revealed. But anyone with half a brain can see, from all the hardships in the last two books that weren’t resolved but just bandaided with condoms, that this relationship is just in it for the sex. They say they love each other? Ha!
And to be fair, despite my F review of Phantom Thread, I’m fine with watching or reading a movie or book about a toxic relationship. But when the plot keeps getting interrupted with sex that is almost always, a) unexpected, b) unwelcome because it’s interrupting something more interesting, c) having a horrible song in the background lighting it up with fake diamond shine, and d) featuring two characters who we don’t buy their relationship with anyway, what we get is simply a boring, unsuspenseful distraction of a film.
I’d say if you could divide the amount of sex scenes in this series by about 3; not film, series; this all would be so much better. It would also be better if at least a few of them did not have some song in there either. In my last review of Darker, I said the songs prevent the sex scenes from feeling like Ana and Christian are thinking about how they make them happy rather than how they make them feel. There’s a difference.
Dakota Johnson keeps giving it her all, more and more with each film. There’s a scene a little past the halfway point where she utilizes everything, every angry instance since the first film and lets rip. Also, the climax is at least semi-suspenseful, even if it’s as logical as a subway in Pakistan and ends before it can seriously get rolling. And there are at least some scenes and things people say to help us understand this really is the end of the trilogy. And now that the Fifty Shades trilogy is over (or quartet, with the godawful Fifty Shades of Black spoof alongside it), there are at least three things it did perfectly: 1) Bring Dakota Johnson into the ring. 2) Show how pathetic it really is to only do what will apparently score big at the box office. 3) Begin a movie series, and if they refuse to do more because of financial or business difficulties, shame them by saying this trilogy managed to be completed, so why not anything else in the world?