‘Grey’ is a fitting word for the finale of the Fifty Shades film trilogy, which sees Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson hang up their handcuffs for good in cinemas across the world this weekend.
Already given a fierce thrashing by critics in the US, fans will find Christian Grey’s limp sex scenes in the latest Fifty Shades Freed film more Mills and Boon than Madonna’s Erotica.
The first Fifty Shades of Grey flick had devotees of E.L. James’s original books in a sweat when it unleashed itself on the public back in 2015.
But given time has moved on – and the current sex scandals tearing up Hollywood – cinema-goers may find the dominant S&M scenes involving Christian (Dornan) and his once enslaved lover – now wife – Anastasia (Johnson) a little hard to swallow.
Even fans of the franchise may find the S&M scenes between Christian and Anastasia ‘hard to swallow’ in light of the ongoing Hollywood consent scandal, says reviewer Marc Baker
From the opening titles of the latest 105 minute adventure, it’s clear no-expense has been spared in giving Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey the dream wedding – and nightmare honeymoon – period that avid E.L. James fans have been anticipating seeing brought to life for years.
In the opening scenes fans see Grey and Steele get hitched in a glitzy ceremony against a backdrop of a million roses, with as much slush laid on as possible before they jet off on their doomed honeymoon in Paris.
Cheesy dialogue – which could have been lifted straight from the ’80s soap Dallas – and shaky acting ensues, with Steele gazing at Grey’s private jet and harping ‘Do you own that?’ to which her new hubby replies ‘No. We own that.’
After a break-in at Grey Enterprises cuts their trip short, Steele begins to bristle at Grey’s obsessive, possessive control over her, even balking at the title of ‘Mrs Grey’.
She keeps her maiden name at her job and in her work email, which irks Grey, but does yield Dornan’s best wisecrack of the movie: ‘I tried emailing you? It bounced.’
Meanwhile, it turns out that Steele’s old boss Hyde is back for revenge after Grey stole his girlfriend and bought his company.
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reprise their leading roles in the final, racy instalment
A kidnap plot involving co-star Rita Ora is thrown into the mix, along with a heart pounding car chase with Steele behind the wheel of Mr Grey’s Audi muscle car. A steamy car park sex scene romp between the two follows for good measure.
But the script for the rest of the movie soon fades to grey, with the film apparently aiming to sell its audience more on a luxury lifestyle than the people enjoying it.
What began as a leather-bound power struggle between two lovers in a wealthy dominant’s sex lair, has now dissolved in a cold Long Island Iced tea, as our two stars trot towards domestic bliss.
The only moment of conflict in the movie comes when Steele finally slaps down controlling Mr Grey in an awkward red room scene that seems him probe too far with a vibrating sex toy, prompting her to tell him: ‘That was not love. That was revenge.’
At last a victory for feminism and a ‘times up’ moment for Grey.
The line is bound to get audiences sighing and is an obvious sign that this movie franchise – which has made over £700 million – has finally climaxed.
Cheers! The characters in E.L. James’ blockbuster books tie the knot in their final outing
Despite a lacklustre critical reception for the movie adaptations, Jamie and Dakota’s steamy scenes still appear to provide fans with reason enough to flock to the cinema
With a surprise pregnancy to mark the culmination of three years of onscreen sex, the film closes with a kiss to its fans: a love-laden montage of memorable moments from the series – scored by a remix of ‘Love Me Like You Do’ by pop diva Ellie Goulding.
And after three long years, fans finally get to see the once horny Mr Grey and Steele embark on a life of fidelity together.
The producers of the latest film are said to be worried negative reviews will put people off from packing cinemas this opening weekend.
And given only 13 fans took their seats for an early screening at the 147-seater Vue cinema in Stratford, east London on the day it opened, their fears could very well be proved right.