What a difference the right cast makes.
Footloose almost starred Tom Cruise, hot to trot after Risky Business. In the event, Kevin Bacon dignified a movie that might otherwise have emerged as Pantsdance.
Bacon’s claim that Herbert Ross’ youth-rebellion musical is “edgier” than we recall does hold up... if Cliff Richard’s ‘The Young Ones’ counts as ‘edgy’. It’s certainly sillier than nostalgia might have you believe.
Songwriter Dean Pitchford’s tale of a big-city outsider who liberates a small town’s dancing feet is thinner than a new-wave tie plot-wise, yet thick with corn-fed nonsense: hard to say which is sillier, preacher John Lithgow’s anti-rock bluster or Bacon’s biblical defence of dancing.
But Bacon’s every-guy appeal and high-cranked charisma are priceless. He speaks for us all when he splutters, “A chicken race, with tractors?! How did I get myself into this?” He’s all star when he’s hoofing up a dust-storm or smirking over chiselled pecs in the shower.
His preparation (going undercover as a student...) was more ‘method’ than the movie deserved, but Footloose leaves no doubt why he’s still high profile.
The BD is patchy. Footloose looks blander than a Lori Singer support turn but bursts with extras, adding interviews and screen-test footage to 2004’s features.
Bacon’s game contribution is as welcome, after all, Bacon’s feet are the reasons why this relic are worth revisiting at a time when it’s franchises that own Hollywood.
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