|Paramount Pictures | Release Date: February 17, 1984||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Footloose is a seriously confused movie that tries to do three things, and does all of them badly. It wants to tell the story of a conflict in a town, it wants to introduce some flashy teenage characters, and part of the time it wants to be a music video. It's possible that no movie with this many agendas can be good; maybe somebody should have decided, early on, exactly what the movie was supposed to be about. Read full review
The director, Herbert Ross, and the writer, Dean Pitchford, exhaust one bad idea after another, and build up to a letdown: you don't get the climactic dance you expect.
It's depressing to see director Herbert Ross strain to fabricate an atmosphere of urgency around such perfunctory characters, events and crises. A minimal lyric can be finessed by stylish orchestration much easier than a minimal script can be finessed by streamlined composition and emphatic cutting. [18 Feb 1984, p.G1]
Footloose is for an audience that wants something easy to think about, a conflict in which the two sides are easy to distinguish and an "enemy" who is easy to look down upon. It's for the folks who like to skip dinner and go right to the cream- filled finale, and though not quite evil, it's as silly as can be. [1 Mar 1984, p.D12]
As the teenage new-waver in a land of corn-fed farmers, Bacon has an aggressive, nervous edginess, but is ultimately too limited an actor, or too poorly directed, to carry the leaden weight of the script. [20 Feb 1984]
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