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Footloose

Footloose: Fun & Modern Remake of 80s Dance Classic

  • Andie MacDowellDennis Quaid...
  • ComedyDrama...
  • Craig Brewer
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Footloose: Fun & Modern Remake of 80s Dance Classic

When his mother suddenly dies, Big-city kid Ren (Wormald) moves to the small town of Bomont to live
with his aunt. He is astonished to find that the law in
Bomont enforces a curfew for minors and prohibits loud music and
public dancing after a car crash three years ago had killed five
seniors returning from a dance. Ren plans to overrule the dancing ban and thus gets into trouble with the town preacher (Quaid), the
ban’s most adamant supporter as well as the disapproving father of Ren’s love interest, Ariel (Hough).

This is a very faithful adaptation of the Kevin Bacon classic; a little
too faithful actually. All the major plot lines were left practically unchanged
to the point that many lines were word-for-word the same as the
original. The biggest difference is that the new version takes place in the present day; so there’s less awful 80s makeup, more low-rise jeans and
iPods.

While there are a few scenes showcasing hip-hop, most of the dance moves
here are of the line dancing persuasion, and they’re surprisingly fun. Having a
cast filled with dancers-turned-actors also means that we actually get to see
most of the moves instead of the usual rapid fire editing.

Remaking this 80s classic was probably very hard on the new
cast. It’s their job to make viewers forget about the original and engage with
the new version in light of its own merits. However, this version of Footloose
is more of a makeover than a remake, which provides a bigger challenge for the
actors. If you’ve seen the original, you’ll find yourself quoting the lines
alongside the new cast. Despite this handicap, the actors, for the most part,
succeed in owning their characters.

Wormald does a really admirable job of appearing culture-shocked without
belittling the town’s inhabitants for their country ways. And while he’s a
great dancer, even his smoothness isn’t enough to salvage the pissed off,
dancing in the warehouse scene that was just as cheesy as the original if
slightly more tolerable due to its shorter time span.

As the female lead, Hough plays the preacher’s rebellious daughter
and Ren’s love interest, Ariel. She deals with her grief over her brother’s
death in highly destructive ways such as standing in front of oncoming trains,
hanging out of speeding race cars and generally messing around with the wrong crowds.
She also
happens to be a great dancer that isn’t showcased nearly enough in the film.

Being ultimately a modernised, sexier copy of the original, this remake
probably isn’t best for diehard fans of the Kevin Bacon version. However, for the rest
of us, it’s a really fun dance film that isn’t hip-hop-oriented for a
change and is, in this reviewer’s opinion, much more entertaining than the
original.

Like This? Try

Dirty Dancing, Step Up, Save The Last Dance

360 Tip

Footloose is based on the story of the students at an Oklahoma high school who successfully lobbied their town and school officials for permission to have a prom. 

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