Fans of the original movie “Footloose” won’t be disappointed. While there’s a lot less Kevin Bacon, the 2011 remake still packs the light-hearted fun that the original 1984 Footloose became famous for.
This remake focuses on a car crash, featuring a dramatic scene at the beginning followed by a stern Dennis Quaid proposing a ban on dancing. Cue the arrival of Ren McCormack, a lovable teen who has a passion for dance.
Kenny Wormald as McCormack is sincere. His image and attitude are just enough to remind you of Kevin Bacon’s character yet different enough to keep you interested and emotionally invested.
McCormack is less of a rebel and more of an outsider trying to assimilate to life in Bomont, Ga. McCormack is characterized as a much more vulnerable character instead of the reckless, red jacket wearing dancing fanatic featured in the 1984 version. Don’t worry: the classic yellow Beetle is still featured as McCormack’s hot ride.
Surprisingly, the premise of the movie was more believable than the original. In 1984, dancing wasn’t that risky, but anyone who has attended a high school dance knows that the parents of Bomont have a reason to believe that dancing can lead to inappropriate behavior.
This is the sexier version of Footloose. Scenes are loosely pasted together with short shots of butts shaking in tight jeans. Julianne Hough plays the troubled teenager, Ariel, complete with daddy issues. Hough, a former dancer on “Dancing with the Stars,” twists and turns around the dance floor, even taking a turn around the pole to impress her low-life boyfriend, Chuck.
The actors are not the only difference in this remake. The music and dancing have been modernized, complete with a parking lot jam that makes you think you’re watching “Step Up 5.”
Even the game of chicken has been updated from tractors to school busses.
The classic songs such as “I Need a Hero” and “Almost Paradise” are still there, placed sporadically throughout the movie so that true “Footloose” fans can’t complain. The mix of classic songs with modern artists, such as The White Stripes vocals featured in the warehouse dance scene, doesn’t quite work.
Director Craig Brewer had a tough task when he set out to remake “Footloose.” He had to pay homage to the original while also creating something unique. The mesh was a little sloppy, but by the end no one cares.
During the span of the movie, the audience reconnects with those lovable characters they met in 1984. This remake isn’t meant to replace the original, but instead it is meant to compliment it.
As that title music plays, you can’t help but feel great. The message of the movie is clear: sometimes kids just need to dance, parents get to be crabby about it and once in awhile, everyone needs to get footloose.