“Fifty Shades Freed” (Universal)
By Catholic News Service
Absurdities alternate with exploitative sex scenes in this screen version of the third novel in E.L. James’ tawdry trilogy. With their sadomasochistic relationship now solemnized by marriage, a fabulously wealthy, controlling tycoon (Jamie Dornan) and his mousy book editor of a bride (Dakota Johnson) look forward to a life of private jets, sleek yachts and kinky carryings-on in their penthouse’s well-equipped dungeon. But one of her former colleagues (Eric Johnson) is stalking the happy couple, and his aim is not to throw rice on them.
Patrons unwise enough to shell out good money for this campy nonsense will get a facial work out as they roll their eyes, drop their jaws and gurgle derisively at the ineptness of it all. While some late plot developments arguably introduce a pro-life tone to the proceedings, this can hardly make up for the twisted view of human sexuality that pervades director James Foley’s piece of soft-corn porn tricked out as mainstream entertainment.
Excessive sexual content, including benignly viewed perverse activity, graphic marital intercourse and much upper female and rear nudity, some gunplay and nonlethal violence, several uses of profanity, at least one milder oath, about a half-dozen rough and numerous crude terms, an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.