“Mrs. Grey will see you now,” the tagline for the teaser for Fifty Shades Freed, the final chapter in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, reads. From a laments point of view, such a tagline suggests that this last film will threaten to bring the story of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) to a close by turning her into the powerful one in the relationship between her and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), although admittedly that is only from my viewing of the trailer and nothing more, not having read or having any desire to read the books; the imagery presented does suggest that this may be turning the tables somewhat.
Perhaps my limited understanding comes from my utter disinterest in the franchise. I understand that opinions on Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels tend to come in two flavours: complete devotion from a dedicated fan base or utter derision from those who claim the books to be very problematic. Personally, however, I can’t find myself kicking up much fuss for what is the more boring, toned down, less interesting and frankly, less explicit equivalent of the kinds of erotic thrillers that were being made in the 1980s and 90s.
Being a teaser, there’s very little to go on, other than that Christian and Anastasia are finally tying the knot and that Anastasia is far less of the wilting flower that she was in the previous two movies. While I won’t be holding my breath, I keep waiting for this franchise to have the courage of its convictions and actually become erotic. As it stands, it can hardly claim to be an “erotic thriller” as its genre suggests, and it seems reluctant to truly embrace its exploitation roots. It seems destined that this film, like the two predecessors, will continue to be un-engaging. You have one more chance, don’t screw it up, although you probably will.
Fifty Shades Freed is scheduled to be released on February 9, 2018, by Universal Pictures. It also stars Kim Basinger and Max Martini.