Rated: PG-13 For sexual situations, violence and alcohol use. Reviewed by: Nina and Chris Release date: October 14, 2011 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation
Whenever Hollywood decides to remake a movie, I always wonder why – is it because the first one wasn't any good or are they hoping to have a sure box office draw by using a name and plot that worked before? In this case, they used it to showcase the talents of some young actors and dancers with something moviegoers would go see based strictly on the name of the movie.
When you hear Footloose, you immediately get that song caught in your head and dance around all day. In this remake, they used the old songs, the old clothes, the old dance steps enhanced with new, young actors with a little new dancing mixed in.
Dennis Quaid is very good as the father figure; it's just hard looking at him aged enough to play someone's father and a minister to boot. He is sympathetic and you believe that he has the interests and protection in mind for his daughter even though he doesn't convey it properly sometimes. His passing a law for no dancing (really?) is stretching it a little bit but seems to have been abided by for a long time. Julianne Hough is excellent in this role; I liked her fire and dedication to the role, playing a sibling to a much-loved and gone forever brother, struggling to find her place in the love of her family and friends.
The rebel, misrepresented, James Dean-esque character played by Kenny Wormald was believable, he played it very low key, I thought, and didn't hit you over the head with the misunderstood bad boy, but had some heart in there too. The scenes with the bus race were funny and dramatic, a little comedy relief supplied by the best friend Willard played by Miles Teller. At first it seemed like they weren't going to mesh but it was pleasing to see that play out to an enjoyable camaraderie, and that accent, that made you laugh and want to dance at the end of the movie.
All the actors, Dennis Quaid and Andie MacDowall are aging gracefully and beautifully and added a lot to the dynamic of the movie that was enjoyable to watch and not too painful to listen to. It's worth it to go, even if you liked the first one, the remake was good enough to carry you through to the end. And yes, that song will stick in your head at least until the next day, so have some popcorn and enjoy!
Writer/director Craig Brewer's (Hustle and Flow) use of real dancers in this remake of the 1984 Kevin Bacon musical, adds a touch of realism to the dance numbers.
The opening of the film depicts a fatal crash involving a car full of teens. They were heading home after a night of dancing and drinking and hit a semi head on.
In reaction to the tragedy, the Bomont, Georgia Town Council, urged on by Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid), impose bans to protect their kids.
Jump to four years later and Reverend Moore's daughter Ariel (Julianne Hough, Dancing With The Stars alum) is a high school senior who along with her friends rebel against the strict curfew and ban on loud music and public dancing.
Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald), a former gymnast who loves to dance, moves from Boston to the restrictive little town after his mother dies from leukemia.
He lives with his uncle's family, enrolls in high school, gets a part-time job and catches the eye of Ariel. After a couple of minor run-ins with the law, one for playing his radio too loudly in his old VW, Ren decides to take on the Bomont establishment to have their laws overturned.
The stars are all competent; Hough is flirty and a dancing spitfire, Quaid is solid and Miles Teller as Ren's new friend, makes you smile whenever he's on-screen. Wormald, who makes his film debut, is a likable young actor who can really dance, his solo in a warehouse is particularly good.
Except for a couple of tweaks, the storyline is almost the same as the original. A couple of things are corny, but overall the entertainment factor still holds up, and it gives a new generation a chance to get Footloose.