½*/**** Image C Sound C-
starring Tom Cruise, Craig T. Nelson, Lea Thompson, Charles Cioffi
screenplay by Michael Kane
directed by Michael Chapman
by Walter Chaw Seedy in that ineffable Eighties way, Michael Chapman's All the Right Moves is a star vehicle for a young Tom Cruise, following up his leading role in Risky Business with what is essentially a feature-length Steve Earle song about a downtrodden Pennsylvania steel town. Think Flashdance (released in the same year, strangely enough) with teenage boys instead of merely for them. Turmoil on a high-school football team (the Ampipe Bulldogs) functions as the microcosm for factory layoffs, teen pregnancy, and the existential angst embedded in the image of a horrible Lea Thompson playing a mournful saxophone on a street corner. Though there are a few moments of "was this ever cool" cheeseball nostalgia sprinkled here and again, All the Right Moves is teeth-clenchingly awful: half "The White Shadow", half somehow more embarrassing and dated than even that popular TV series.