director: James Foley
writers: Niall Leonard
starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Eric Johnson
released: 8 February 2018 (Australia, Germany & Greece), 9 February 2018 (USA)
We are finally free from what Hollywood and many men and women identify as a modern day 'romance'. In what is a film trilogy where a man doesn't give up his perverted activities to be a more wholesome individual and a woman gets caught up in them as if it's nothing to be worried about, because the film and characters are more concerned with its soap opera plot , rather than the abuse and trauma Grey had as a child and that he never honestly overcame in either of three films in any meaningful way.
Continuing from the events of the previous film, Christian (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) get married and are slowly getting used to their new roles as husband and wife, while at same time still enjoying their BDSM promiscuity.
This honeymoon period will come to a halt, when greater responsibilities hit them face first and an old familiar face comes back to haunt them and enact his revenge.
It would have been too good to be true for this film to actually become any more interesting and less of a soap opera by developing its characters to the point that they come to terms with their flaws, instead of the fact that everything comes together perfectly for them, despite the issues that still have yet to be overcome.
The plot has two main story-lines that converge on each other within the film, with one being the relationship between Christian and Anastasia and the conundrum they face of being a BDSM couple that is trying to live also a "normal" life. With the consistent 'will it' or 'won't it' work motif lingering throughout the whole trilogy. The second storyline is the ex-boss of Anastasia, the psychopath Jack who wants to enact revenge on them because of the life he supposedly lost due to Christian. Both story-lines could have been of more interest, but for different reasons fail to impress as expected.
The ex-boss story-line to start off with has a major plot hole and cinematic cliche of the most grandiose coincidence needing to occur, so the film can conveniently have more drama which is Jack ending up being Anastasia's boss. Only for this to make him get his opportunity to enact his revenge on Christian, which truth be told is pretty weak as the guy with no money backing him compared to Christian, became a successful professional, wasn't ugly, (by any objective standard), so why he was still so hell bent on revenge wasn't as believable. Did he also get abused as a kid and believed because of that he had a worse life? Because if that was the case it would have made for some great drama between him and Christian duking it out while finding out about each other's inner demons. It would have made also more sense if he actively made the steps to be in Christian's inner circle to enact his revenge and not for fate to bring him one step closer to him. Moreover, it would have made Jack much more of a convincing character who's life mission was to destroy Christian, not that he just thought why not due to the fact of a coincidence or fate taking place to benefit him. Naturally, coincidences do happen in life, but the way it played out in the film wasn't believable.
Regarding the status of Anastasia and Christian's relationship, you would imagine it would be rock hard due to the fact they are getting married, but you would be surely wrong. As with almost every couple of the 21st century they iron out their differences after they get married and not before. So Christian still is the sexual deviant who doesn't want to change his ways and wants to control every action of Anastasia's life and she just accepts almost anything he does until the point she SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS gets pregnant and he goes berserk and runs back to his old mentor of BDSM the elderly best friend of his mother. This is something that should have been dealt with in the second film, but even in this film it wasn't either, as the plot line of his foster care brother got in the way and in a big way. So they kind of got over it , but not really and the film ended happily ever after, but without ever dealing with his demons, past or improprieties adequately.
This trilogy ended in a highly predictable fashion and we shouldn't really be bothered by it. It was one most hyped series of the last 10 years and just like its scenes of sexual activity it was a giant tease. Nothing of real value, nothing of real controversy and a simplistic soap opera on the big screen with a little more raunchy eye candy and that's all. And for many of its fans that was more than enough, but for the rest of us, thank heavens its over.