Project: RPO - Footloose


Our small band of Gunters here in The DreamCage universe are reviewing every film mentioned in Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. This week, Steve Taylor-Bryant cuts loose over Footloose...

Footloose was nominated for Two Oscar Awards (both for original song) and includes a cast of Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow, Diane Wiest, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Penn and Lori Singer. A film built on these solid foundations is sure to stand the test of time and find itself impervious to ridicule. Add in the basic premise of a town that has outlawed rock music and dancing and you are onto a sure-fire winner. Let's all pack up and go home as this film is sure to be the best movie experience of my life.

That's right folks, I have never seen Footloose before, this is my first time, a Kevin Bacon dancing virgin if you'll allow. The closest I have ever got to Footloose before is my old flat mate, Tony Barry, and his strange insistence of singing the entire soundtrack in the bathroom whilst being oblivious the his volume and the time he was taking. No one needs to be that clean, Tony!

Anyway let's put this awesome sounding project into the DVD player and see what I've been missing all these years.

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Really?

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Oh come on!

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What in heaven's name was that?! I mentioned the cast at the beginning of this and I now demand to speak to the blackmailer responsible for making these incredible stars belittle themselves with this atrocity. This wasn't even as good as Flashdance! If you're going to make a dancing film this bad at least have the decency to put Jennifer Beales front and centre!

Footloose could have been so much more.

Teenage angst, relationship issues, bible thumping morons, the clash of youthful exuberance and freedoms with an authoritarian society. A brilliant cast containing some of the very best actors in their field. A soundtrack with Kenny Loggins for pity's sake! Footloose doesn't just not hold up due to its 32 year age, I can't believe it held up in 1984 either. The 1980's was the era of the teen story, some may say that perhaps the decade was awash with too many teen type stories but, with The Outsiders, John Hughes' magical touch, crap, even Dirty Dancing brings tears to my cold hard face, if you were going to find an audience for this type of story it was going to be then. I don't have a problem with the premise or the musical style of its delivery I just found the entire thing fell flat. I didn't believe in Bacon's Ren and I'll forgive that man just about anything, I didn't get taken anywhere by the portrayal of Ariel from Lori Singer, Diana Wiest was wasted as a talent and John Lithgow seems to have a Saturday Night Live dancing parody script as I'm not sure he's even making the same film as everyone else.

I defend my era of films more vehemently than is maybe healthy, I even try and convince the world that Howard the Duck has merit but, when it comes to Footloose, I have to ask myself if the stress brought on by defending eighties cinema is really worth it.

Cut foot loose at Steve on Twitter @STBwrites


Image - IMDb