Movie Review: Footloose

In every boy’s life, there is an awkward period overwhelmed by an endlessly lingering sensation of pent up sexual aggression and uncontrollable urges which shift back and forth between hot and bother. It is called puberty. I mean, honestly, all boys have this in common. Every high school is full of 13 year old boys, simultaneously wanting the same thing: one loose woman to allow them 45 seconds of nudity to free them of their virginity.

That feeling is the same feeling Craig Brewer’s version of Footloose is trying to convey.  No wait, stay with me, it gets better.  Brewer, insists that instead of wanting to dry hump on the fifty-yard line of the high school football field, the kids of Beaumont, Georgia need to quench their desires to dance it out. Their city’s lack of grinding and line dance makes them ache.

Now, Let’s go ahead and state the obvious: cult status or not, the original Footloose left plenty of room for improvement. Compiled of crummy acting and unrealistic and overly-dramatic plot concepts, Footloose, like most 80’s movies is mindless entertainment turned into pop culture gold. Yet somehow, regardless of having unlimited approaches from which to improve the original concept, writer and director Craig Brewer drops the ball, managing only to make a mockery of a film that originally made a mockery of itself.

More important than that however, is the precedent that this film sets for the demographic that it is obviously being targeted at. As an MTV production, I have no doubt that Footloose is centered at the middle school and high school age groups. Therefore, some of Brewer’s additions to the film seem a little unreasonable to me. Maybe I’m just getting old. But this film seriously sold sex more than most CK ONE ad campaigns. Hell, throw underage drinking, sneaking into bars, fighting, domestic violence and playing chicken with a train into the subject matter and you’ve got yourself the resume of a quality babysitter. Shit, might as well let the kids watch Wild Things and Monster’s Ball too.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this film has a few scenes worth watching, I guess. Well, okay, if you have nothing better to on a Friday night and you’ve already seen everything else in the theater (and your internet won’t let you use Netflix).

This is the part where I find something nice to say. Okay, here goes:

1. The dance numbers are pretty entertaining. If there is anything that Brewer has proved, it is that he can create quality dance scenes. Just look at his portfolio for the proof. There is a reason he makes films like this, even if he shouldn’t.

2. Miles Teller, the actor who plays Willard is very funny in this film. In a flick full of rotten actors, cast more for their full round asses and charming smiles, Teller is refreshing. I honestly hope to see him in more things.

3. There is a fair amount of entertainment trying to find the references to the original film. Now, don’t confuse the word reference with blatant ripoff, which Brewer tends to do. However, in the rare instance that the film is being coy, it works. Sadly, those moments are few and far between. This film is so in your face, by the end you’re going to need a shower just to get the high school desire off your face.

And that’s illegal in most states. Even the ones in the South.

 

I give Footloose an Epic Fail

by Joshua Hammond

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