Some people believe that God occasionally intervenes and tries to stop us from making mistakes. When the projector at my ‘Footloose’ screening broke, causing the show to start 80-something minutes late, I should have taken that as divine intervention, warning me to exit the theater immediately. Considering how much mental preparation it took to get there that they in the first place, I knew that I’d never make it to another screening if I bailed. So, I stuck around out of an obligation to offer you, The Bonus View readers, honest reviews of as many movies as possible. I should have followed the omen and left you in the dark, because ‘Footloose’ is terrible.
First off, I must give you the disclaimer that I’ve never seen the original ‘Footloose’. Sorry, but nothing about a singing and dancing Kevin Bacon has ever grabbed my attention. I went into the remake blind, not knowing exactly what I was in for. Boy, was it painful.
From what I’m told, the remake is like watching the ‘Star Wars‘ Blu-rays: Sure, it’s the same movie, but newer technology has been added to make it seem fresh for younger audiences. The only details that have changed are those that date the original. Our characters now have cell phones and iPods. Instead of a tractor race, they race buses. The soundtrack for the remake consists of cringe-inducing modernized covers of the songs from the original film. Other than that, supposedly everything else is exactly the same.
In Small Town U.S.A., a group of kids die in a drunk-driving accident after leaving a party where they danced to the loud soundtrack of the original ‘Footloose’. Because a local reverend sits on the bench of the City Council, he pushes a law that bans public dancing and loud and/or suggestive music within the city limits.
A scrawny kid from Boston (whom I’d love to see Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg introduce the real Boston to) moves to town and stirs the pot when the preacher’s whore daughter falls for him. And he can’t help but express himself through dance.
Even more ridiculous than the idea behind The Beastie Boys’ song “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)” is the premise to this movie: You’ve gotta fight for your right to dance.
Because the producers couldn’t get a single big-name actor to appear in this film (sorry, but Dennis Quaid hasn’t played in the big leagues for a long time), they cast dancing coach Julianne Hough from TV’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’. There hasn’t been a new young actress as painful to watch in a long time. ‘Footloose’ requires the “actress” to cry in two scenes – something that she is absolutely incapable of doing – but that doesn’t stop her from trying. Both times, Hough smashes her face so tight that it gives the impression she’s trying to squeeze out a tear or two – but nothing ever comes out.
Damn ‘High School Musical‘, ‘Glee‘ and those countless Reality dancing shows that inspired some studio exec to fast-track this garbage. With dance-filled programming run amok and the preachy separation of church and state message being such a hot Leftist topic these days, ‘Footloose’ feels like nothing more than Liberal propaganda for the young future voters of tomorrow. It’s utterly ridiculous, wildly irresponsible and blatantly stupid.
The only positive thing to come from sticking around at the screening is that I finally got to see a full, non-spoof “angry dance” – which I still think ‘Hot Rod‘ and ‘Flight of the Conchords” did better.