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Published on October 13th, 2011 | by simeon

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Footloose

Public dancing is against the law in the small religious town of Bomont. But Boston-raised teenager, Ren McCormack and the Reverend’s daughter Ariel have other ideas in this remake of the 1984 classic.

The original “Footloose” requires a 1980s mindset and was successful partially due the disjointed storytelling of teen films during that era. Up until now it could be said that there is no “Footloose” without Kevin Bacon. But surprise! The remake is so good that you may need to step back.

The cast is more polished than the original, particularly in lead female role of Ariel Moore brought back to the screen by Julianne Hough. Hough’s performance is more engaging than that of the original portrayal by Lori Singer. Taking the reigns of the role that made Kevin Bacon famous is Kenny Wormald as city boy Ren. Wormald wears the role with charm and the required “Footloose” too-cool-for-school style.

Reverend Shaw Moore, now played by Dennis Quaid, is far more emotional than the original depiction of the character first played by a John Lithgow. However, the same cannot be said for his wife, Vi Moore, with a disappointing performance from Andy McDowell. This is balanced however by the truly enjoyable portrayal of Ren’s best friend Willard by the well-timed comedy of Miles Teller.

Yes, there were cheesy moments. There was even a sunset so over the top that it may remind you Star Wars buffs of a certain lengthy romance scene in Episode Two. And yes, more than one of the reanimated lines from the classic film was forced. But the flubs were few and far between as this “Footloose” remake manages to succeed in many places where the original could have been improved.

The explanation of tragedy that originally befell Bomont has been extended, giving the town’s anti-dance perspective a little more sway. And this time around “Footloose” directly addresses a number of the small town versus big city stereotypes with strong dual sided humor.

The new “Footloose” still has less dancing then you want from a film entirely about dance, but when it does occur the style is much more diverse, ranging from hip hop to that famous “Footloose” country. There were things missed from the original; particularly the precision of Bacon’s solo dance scene, but this remake honors the impact of the original while standing on its own.

Now where do you buy a pair of red cowboy boots?!

4/5


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