When it comes to the original ‘Footloose’, I had seen it and thought it was great, I’m not a die hard fan for it or anything, but I really enjoyed it and I do consider it a classic from the 80’s, so when I found out they were doing a remake of it I was very skeptical about it. But putting my initial thoughts aside, I was surprised of how good it was, in the sense of introducing the story to a new generation with current music, ‘Footloose‘ the 2011 version, will want to make you cut loose.
The opening scene being the same as in the original, you see people’s feet dancing along with the credits, but this time around they are not in front a black background, instead they’re at a party, so this should give you a taste of the minor changes in scenery from ‘Footloose’. The story is basically the same Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves from Boston, Mass. to the town of Bomont, Georgia after his mother passed away to live with his aunt and uncle. Soon after arriving, Ren finds out a law that states that all types of music and dance have been banned from the town, mainly because Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) decided it was the town’s way of mourning 4 seniors who died in a car crash after going to a party that involved (of course) dancing and music. Ren quickly becomes interested in the popular girl in school, Ariel (Julianne Hough), who is the Reverend’s daughter and does whatever she can to act rebellious and don’t live up to what the townspeople expect of the Rev’s daughter. After having some problems with the police, Ren becomes the town’s “rebellious” new kid, and with his friends he tries to defy the law against music and dancing so they can have a senior prom dance.
In ‘Footloose‘ there are some few minor changes: instead of taking place in the ficitional town of Bomont, Utah this time around the setting is in Bomont, Georgia. Ren McCormack isn’t from Chicago, in this one he’s from Boston and you can notice his accent throughout the movie. The biggest change of all is that in this one all types of music are banned, not solely because of the Reverend’s efforts but because there was a car crash in which 4 students from the town died and playing music seems disrespectful to the death, and according to the Reverend music and dancing lead to drunk driving so this is his way to keeping the town safe. Ren doesn’t move with his mother, instead his mother died because of leukemia back in Boston, so he moved with his aunt and uncle because he didn’t have any other family left. Things that were kept the same: yellow old school Beetle like the same one Kevin Bacon had in the original, same characters, plot and iconic scenes like the warehouse scene, prom fight, and some of the clothes (Ren’s first day of school outfit with the tie and jacket, Ren’s red suit for prom) were all kept the same.
What makes this movie lack somewhat of the vibe of the old one is simple: Kenny Wormald IS a professional dancer, unlike Kevin Bacon who was a star at the time and had to learn how to dance for a part, which in a way was more genuine back then but still, it’s something minor. People who have seen the old ‘Footloose’ will miss Kevin Bacon most definitely, but with time they will find themselves liking Kenny Wormald’s James-Dean-like Ren McCormack.
The acting overall was okay, with my favorite character, Willard portrayed by Miles Teller stealing the show. Needless to say, the dancing was on point and often kept me dancing in my seat. About the dancing however, from the trailer we see both Ren and Ariel dancing basically on top of each other, and some of you might be like “That’s groping on the dancefloor!“, but hey don’t come up to me telling me that when you go clubbing you see people dancing 3 feet away? No, sadly, that’s the way teenagers dance now and it shows how the movie tried to keep it current with music like dance and hip-hop that are so popular nowadays. The director trying to make the movie more current and relatable to our time added some humor like recession/economy jokes, adding new technology like iPods, and newer versions of the classics like “Let’s Hear It For The Boy“.
If you do end up seeing ‘Footloose‘ just go in without even minding the original, leave your negative/skeptical thoughts at the door and just go in to have a good time. It offers you likeable characters, laughter and dancing, so you should have a good time while watching it, I did and I left the theater wanting to go dancing. In my opinion, ‘Footloose‘ is an introduction of the 80’s classic to a new generation, showing them that this is their time to cut loose from the rules and enjoy their lives.
‘Footloose’ will be in theaters on October 14th 2011