Review: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (2016)

 

Today I sat down to watch Fox 21 Television Studios’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show:Let’s Do the Time Warp Again. This was a TV movie made and released this year in time for Halloween, and stars Laverne Cox as Dr Frank-N-Furter, Victoria Justice, Adam Lambert, Christina Milian and Tim Curry.

I am a huge fan of the original film, and I’ve seen it in theatre twice. It’s been a big part of my life since I was thirteen, so I was quite worried when I heard a remake was being made. And to be completely honest, it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but it wasn’t brilliant.

Firstly, I have to say I liked most of the cast. Ivy Levan’s Usherette was good, and I loved her scenes as an homage to B movie cinema. I thought her voice maybe was slightly strong for the song, but that may be because I’m used to the original version. I liked the inclusion of Tim Curry and the hints to the original cast as I felt it was a good way to reference the 1975 film. I enjoyed Victoria Justice and Ryan McCarten’s performances as Brad and Janet a lot; I had originally felt very worried about her casting, but she happily surprised me and I thought Ryan McCarten’s take on Brad was funny and true to the character. Adam Lambert was great, and Laverne Cox was amazing; I felt she really knew the character and played Frank well. The rest of the cast disappointed me. They could all sing but I wasn’t sure if they were really good fits for the characters; they felt like watered down versions of the 1975 portrayals.

I felt the homage factor to the original worked really well. Showing the text’s links between film and theatre worked as a celebration of the original, and those scenes definitely stood out. The recreation’s of the original scenes were good a lot of the time and I liked the sets a lot more than the original film. However, that was mostly all I liked about the film.

In the UK this film was rated with a 12 certificate, and I definitely noticed in. A lot of the swearing has been taken out, which I noted in one of my favourite lines, and some elements of the original have been removed seemingly to gain this certificate. Furthermore, I felt that some dance scenes, in particular the Time Warp itself, were too choreographed almost, and not as ‘loose’ or fun as needed, which I felt hindered the film. The singing sounds quite edited and auto tuned to me, which gave the film the feel of a weird cross between the Glee Rocky Horror special and the original film. Lastly,  I felt the transitions for the expected ad breaks were odd and took me out of the film; I would have thought these would have been differently edited for a DVD release, as I would expect to happen in the coming months.

Unfortunately, I felt that the 12 certificate hurts the film severely, and while it is a lot of fun, there are definitely elements missing from the film. I would watch it again, but it’s not a patch on the original. Somewhat disappointing.

2.5/5

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