Finally, the Fifty Shades phenomenon has yielded a disarming comedy that makes this ridiculous material fun to watch.
It’s hard to find compliments for Jamie Dornan beyond “very athletic”—but from start to finish, one can’t give Johnson enough credit for making these asinine movies work as well as they do.
It’s clichéd, stodgy and overly faithful to the original books.
The Hollywood Reporter
In terms of drama, or melodrama, or just bad drama, Freed rarely delivers the goods while trying hard to give fans what they came for.
Departing only incidentally from E.L. James’s trashy tome, and making up for any short cuts with extra set dressing, this is brochure cinema of the most profuse order, selling its audience more on a lifestyle than on any of the lives inside it.
At least this time, some of the laughs are intentional.
Ostensibly aimed at an adult audience that craves equal parts romance and raunch, Fifty Shades Freed appears to have been written by a teenager – and not just because of its groan- and giggle-inducing dialogue, lack of emotional investment and thinly drawn characters. There’s no knowledge of any element of how the world functions, particularly in its approach to relationships.
While we can quibble about the underused lead or the meandering plot, Fifty Shades Freed ultimately authors its own most stinging rebuke, closing on an extended montage highlighting major moments and turning points from the trilogy. Tellingly, none of them come from this film.
This is a film in which one of the more emotionally detailed performances is given by a product-placement Audi.
As usual it’s left entirely up to the beleaguered Johnson to make any of it even remotely watchable. She remains a compelling presence, trying her darnedest with lifeless words, but, again, she’s stranded by the energy-sucking vortex of nothingness that is Jamie Dornan. He’s better than this...but he knows it and his boredom is lazily apparent throughout.