Review: 'Fifty Shades Freed' sizzles like a frozen package of bacon

MADISON, Wis. - One can't help but wonder when seeing the title “Fifty Shades Freed” that the freeing part refers to audiences: That moviegoers are at least freed from the franchise that started out tolerable, and finished feeling interminable. "Fifty Shades Freed" takes the series out with a whimper, and the world will no longer need to dread sitting through another film detailing an relationship bordering on abusive.

Billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and his former assistant Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) are at last deciding they want to spend the rest of their lives together, and the movie mercifully opens with the ceremony itself, saving us from a montage of the two laughing as they sample cakes and Christian presumably picking out every single thing Ana will be wearing for the wedding.  

No, instead we just get a montage of the two going to exotic locales on Christian’s private jet, and arriving home to have an argument about having kids.  Apparently this is the moment Ana realizes Christian doesn’t want kids, and I can’t help but wonder if this was a conversation that should have occurred sooner.  Perhaps the third date would have been a good time.  Or any time before the actual ceremony.  This is only one of many eye rolls to come.

Turns out Ana’s old boss Jack (Eric Hyde) is stalking Ana. Ana and Christian narrowly escape Jack in a laughably bad car chase sequence, only to have Jack circumvent Christian’s 800 bodyguards and hold a knife to Ana’s throat.  That’s about as exciting as the movie gets, as accusations of cheating and more children arguments abound.  What’s most troubling is Christian’s treatment of Ana, at one point tying her up and going too far with his R-rated playing because he’s upset with her.  The movie may have taken this moment to address Christian’s abuse, but it’s quickly swept away as they continue to theorize on when Jack may strike next.

Even taking the physical and emotional abuse out of the picture, there’s not much left to recommend.

Even the scintillating parts, the main draw of the books that could never be recreated in a movie below an X-rating, are among the most boring and rote of the series. "Fifty Shades Freed" is a movie that doesn't put forward characters we care about, and even tries to make us actively dislike at least a few.

Loper rating: I give “Fifty Shades Freed” 1 strip of bacon frozen in ice out of 5

'Peter Rabbit' entertaining for wide audience 

"Peter Rabbit" is an animated comedy starring Domnhall Gleeson, Rose Byrne and James Corden.

Based on the classic children’s series, Mr. McGregor’s great nephew comes out to battle bunnies, hedgehogs and other animals eating all the vegetables in his garden.

The movie has plenty of shenanigans to entertain young viewers, and enough clever humor and character development to keep older kids and adults on board.

Loper rating: 4 Mrs. Tiggy Winkles the hedgehog out of 5.  Who would have guessed this would be the best movie of the weekend?

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