‘Footloose’ remake dances its way into the 21st century

September 29th, 2011

A lot of negative buzz has been out about the remaking of a classic film like “Footloose;” however, director Craig Brewer has recreated a film that audiences will love almost as much as the original.

Keeping a very similar story line, the new version is easier to follow and more heartfelt, drawing the audience in.

Set in the fictional town of Bomont, Tenn., newcomer Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) finds his loud Boston way of life colliding with the traditional values of the South.

In a town where dancing and loud music is illegal, Ren has trouble settling into Bomont, but is quick to make friends with the beloved Willard. Soon after, the pair sets their sights on throwing a school dance.

Ren also sets his sights on Ariel Moore (Julianne Hough), the good girl gone bad after a terrible car accident which killed her brother. Since the accident, the Reverend and members of the town set a strict rule for the people, more specifically the young crowd, that requires them to lay low in their activities, especially with public dancing.

Professional dancers Hough and Wormald give spectacular performances as young actors in their first major motion picture. Their strong chemistry on screen showcases their confidence as young actors, which left the viewers in the theater in applause.

Dennis Quaid delivers an amazing performance as Ariel’s father, showing true emotion and passion in his part as a Reverend dealing with the loss of a child and his daughter who tests her boundaries.

Brewer incorporates updates into the remake as well.

While the original “Footloose” had two characters engage in a tractor fight, Brewer’s remake changes it to a bus race.

Music in the film is also modernized. While some old-time favorites like “Quiet Riot” are kept, modern-day favorites like Wiz Khalifa are added.

Brewer also creates an edgier vibe with the use of drugs, alcohol and death in the film.

This edgier vibe can also be seen in the dance style of the characters. Dancing in the remake is more provocative than that of the 1984 original. The more provocative dancing  is used in the movie to relate to teens today because – well, let’s face it – people just aren’t dancing like they used to. However, there are still scenes of good old country line-dancing that mirror that of the classic.

The dancing in the movie is not over-the-top, and as professional dancers, Hough and Wormald settled into what could be a very bright future in acting for both of them. A native of Boston, Wormald did not have to try too hard when it came to the obvious accent he had in the film.

There are a few let downs in the film. Unfortunately, the infamous “Let’s dance!” quote from the original does not live up to its potential. Then again, the line was originated from Kevin Bacon’s Ren and it’s hard to beat Kevin Bacon. There are also a few corny lines throughout the film that serve as minor setbacks in what is an otherwise must-see movie.

“Footloose” gets two thumbs up. It was a diificult endeavor to recreate the ‘80s dance flick as Brewer faced an onslaught of criticism for daring to remake the film, but “Footloose” lives up to the standards moviegoers hoped it would.