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Overall Rating

Awesome: 25.35%
Worth A Look49.3%
Average: 7.04%
Pretty Bad: 12.68%
Total Crap: 5.63%

3 reviews, 53 user ratings

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Footloose (1984)
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by MP Bartley

"Kevin Bacon does a Kung-fu kick. No, really!"
4 stars

There's a great moment in 'Footloose' when Kevin Bacon is playing chicken with the school tough guy, with them astride a pair of tractors, as Bonnie Tyler's 'Holding Out For A Hero' blares out on the soundtrack. I'll say that again: Kevin Bacon. Playing Chicken. On a tractor. To the tune of 'Holding Out For A Hero'. You just don't get that type of scene anymore, do you?

Kevin Bacon is Ren, a city boy who loves dancing, who is forced to move to Small Town Hicksville, to live with his mothers new love. But in a weird time-warp effect, this town seems to be stuck in the 1950's with all forms of dancing and entertainment banned by the town preacher, Shaw Moore (John Lithgow). But dammit, Ren just wants to dance, and dance he will!

I know what you're thinking, "Four stars for 'Footloose'? Really?". Yes really, because while this may be a film that is bad on so many levels, it's also massively entertaining and gave me more laughs than the two 'Ace Ventura's combined. Whether director Herbert Ross is proud of that is debatable.

Consider the scene where Ren becomes so enraged by all the frustrations of life that he drives off to an empty agricultural factory and just explodes into dance. And I mean it when I say he explodes into dance. You know how in the old Universal werewolf films, the character would stagger about moaning having spasms of pain and anguish? That's how Kevin Bacon dances. Apart from one moment where he does a Tarzan impression and swings on a chain from one high ledge to another. I don't know about you, but no matter how much I may love dancing, I certainly wouldn't contemplate doing something that may kill me.

But perhaps the best scene, and one of the finest sequences ever put to film, is where he teaches a young, slim Chris Penn how to dance. Cue a montage of hysterical dance sequences in fields, gyms and courtyards of Bacon and Penn prancing about to 'Let's Hear It For The Boy'. And when you consider that the scene right before this is in the gym showers with lots of buttocks, naked male bodies and talk of getting "creamed" I'm sure you'll agree when I say that it's the gayest thing since Liberace. But this is not necessarily a bad thing.

But despite all this unintentional hilarity, there are flashes of genuine quality. Bacon's talent does shine through, and Lithgow is excellent as the preacher who bans the town's youth from having fun with one hand, whilst condemning the school teachers with the other for taking it too far and burning books. But it's a sign of something strange that the moments of best quality are the dullest moments in the film.

Yes, 'Footloose' is certainly a 'bad' film in many respects. But on the other hand, I was entertained from start to finish and laughed out loud on more than one occasion. Just don't tell Kevin Bacon that.

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originally posted: 03/17/05 23:05:52
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Starz Denver Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/01/18 Suzanne The movie is cute as a button - love the music. 4 stars
9/14/17 morris campbell silly but entertaining dance movie 4 stars
7/29/12 cr one best dance movies of all time. chris penn and kevin rock it. 4 stars
7/09/10 Bill That is why they are remaking every 80's movie they can - the movies are GREAT you idiot! 5 stars
4/24/10 doremimi "Dianne Lane as his well meaning, blinking innocently wife?" Seriously? Try Dianne WEIST! 4 stars
10/31/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting Movie! 4 stars
8/25/08 K-DawG.... I lOVe This mOviE!!!! 5 stars
1/05/08 Pamela White great dancing and music, what a romp 5 stars
6/28/07 Evan sheeks it looks like a good movie but its bull shit!!!!!!!!DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE!!! 1 stars
10/19/06 David Pollastrini not horrible 3 stars
10/04/06 Baldeadly GREAT! Dance Song and a laugh! Made the summer with its Greatness 5 stars
8/29/05 ES Massively entertianing 4 stars
4/16/05 Carol Conway Dancing and great soundtrack 4 stars
4/01/05 Carolyn Cherry I liked It 4 stars
3/31/05 Cindy Sheeks I thought Kevin Bacon ruined a great movie. The music was good though. 4 stars
3/26/05 Denise Fun Kevin Bacon was great! 4 stars
3/25/05 Trish Rucker Fun, just fun - and nothing wrong with that! 4 stars
3/25/05 Carolyn Rathburn this was back when Kevin Bacon couldn't be a bad guy, wasn't possible. An enjoyable film 5 stars
3/24/05 monnilove can we get the any tighter on the pants 3 stars
3/23/05 Suzanne Butler Better than expected. 4 stars
3/23/05 Cheryl Free I haven't seen this since it came out, but I remember when I did I had to buy the album! 4 stars
2/01/05 Jeff Anderson Great soundtrack & Kevin Bacon's performance aside, THIS FILM IS REALLY HOPELESS!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
1/08/05 art what a very good movie ive ever seen b4 5 stars
1/07/05 faraliza - farra becon is hot!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/26/04 Tamika I thought it was awsome i also saw the prefomance. 5 stars
7/03/04 Syd Kevin Baoon was sooo HOT!!! 5 stars
5/27/04 amanda i love the movie 5 stars
11/25/03 homer J. Simpson an entertaining movie that will make you happy always 4 stars
11/12/03 Heidi I loved the music 5 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby The dancing and Bacon are good, but the personal dramas are heavy-handed and trite. 2 stars
11/29/02 alana meadows it was OK. kevin bacon is an alright would be fun to dance to. 4 stars
10/23/02 Anastasia Beaverhausen This is the reason '80's films are continually shat on 2 stars
9/24/02 amf I love it, I've wore out 3 of this particular movie...I hope I get another for christmas 5 stars
7/21/02 Ren Bacon I didn't see it until 18 years later, in 2002, but it's a delightful film. Go John Lithgow! 5 stars
3/22/02 NWO4LIFE Hard not to like this movie, unless you don't like the 80's. Great fun. 4 stars
12/09/01 Krzysiek It's the best music film in the world 5 stars
10/18/01 Andrew Carden Great Music, but The Sets Are A Bit Dull, and When You're Wanting More, It Doesn't Give In. 3 stars
9/24/01 dragon from eden when i got out of the movie, i just couldn't believe i'd wasted my money on that 1 stars
9/24/01 Adriana This is my all time favorite movie! 5 stars
5/25/01 Tricia I Love this movie 5 stars
3/08/01 Sanja It' classic! I love the music. 4 stars
2/15/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) This is utter crap, but it's utterly entertaining in its execution. 4 stars
11/21/00 Lauren Good music 4 stars
10/22/00 Billy This movie is completely underrated. Silly premise, but great script, great moments! 5 stars
5/14/00 Steve Layne Fun movie (if uneven) the tracter chicken run was my favorite part of the movie. 4 stars
9/11/99 Eliza The dancing was bad, the storyline even worse, but this is the 80s at it's best (or worst). 4 stars
9/06/99 godsdog ahahahah! OZ, you crack me up like Chris Penn cracks a step ladder! 2 stars
5/19/99 Lucas jackson I thought this movie was stupid except for the crazy dancing at the end 4 stars
5/12/99 Beachlovr9 One of the best 80's movies made... 4 stars
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  01-Dec-1984 (PG)
  DVD: 28-Sep-2004



Directed by
  Herbert Ross

Written by
  Dean Pitchford

  Kevin Bacon
  Lori Singer
  John Lithgow
  Dianne Wiest
  Chris Penn
  Sarah Jessica Parker

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