Ren MacCormack moves from big-city Boston to a small southern town, where life is very different. He lives with his aunt and uncle after his divorced mother's painful death from leukemia. An accident, in which five teenagers were killed after a night out, shocked the small town's community. The local councilmen and Reverend Shaw Moore reacted to the incident by banning loud music and dancing. Ren stands up to the outmoded ban and, in the process, falls in love with the Reverend's daughter Ariel Moore. Written by
The film is dedicated to the original Footloose (1984) director, Herbert Ross. Not only in the end credits, but the cop who pulls over Ren has "H. Ross" on his name tag. He is credited as Officer Herb. See more »
When Rev. Moore goes to meet Ariel at Claude's, a cashier is seen calling Claude from the kitchen. At one cut, Rev. Moore is seen through a window, without Claude standing at the back of the room by the "Drink Coca-Cola" sign and the shutters closed. In the next cut, Claude is standing in front of the kitchen in a close-up shot. See more »
Rev. Shaw Moore:
*He* is testing us. Our Lord is testing us. Especially now, when we are consumed with despair. When we are asking our God why this had to happen. No parent should ever have to know the horror of burying their own child. And yet, five of Bomont's brightest have lost their lives. Among them, my only son... my boy, Bobby. We have other children to raise here in Bomont. And one day, they will no longer be in our embrace and in our care. They will belong to the world. A world filled ...
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Despite not having a reason to actually exist, Footloose entertains and captures the charm of the original.
As a cynical movie writer, all the lines were ready to go once the chance to review Footloose finally arrived: "It's a BLT without the Bacon", "1980s cheddar is already old, now molding thirty years later.", and "(Insert rant on Hollywood remakes here)".
But damn-it, the Footloose remake doesn't suck; even if it has no reason to exist.
In the hands of director Craig Brewer, Footloose manages to overcome a one note plot (which was apart of the original as well), potentially obnoxious covers of the original soundtrack, and pulls out memorable performances from each of its leads.
The Footloose remake doesn't make any major changes to the plot line of the original, which essentially boils down to kids being legally prohibited to dance because of a car crash where several teenagers tragically died (they say drink responsibly in the TV ads... isn't that enough?)
Apparently, an epic fail of that size just can't go unpunished by forcing everyone who wants to dance to keep those moves at home where they belong. Despite the law, young Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) is determined to shake things up and get his boogie on. Along the way, he'll attempt to woo the reverend's daughter, Ariel Shaw (Julianne Hough), while also taking down the preacher man himself (Dennis Quaid) at the city council.
The plot is laughable, cheesy, and amazingly Brewer manages to make it seem dramatic. No, there's never really a scene that moves past shallow, but there are moments where Hough and Wormald are able to engage in real emotions that have back-story and plausible reasoning. It's an accomplishment that should probably be awarded with an Oscar, but alas, it's not that kind of award show.
Among the many triumphs of Footloose, first and foremost is the dancing. It's simply stunning to watch, and is a mixture of step by step reproducing the original dance moves, and adding a new flare as well. The music is the same combination of old and new, and doesn't miss a step (except for the fact that Kenny Loggins's original Footloose plays during the opening scene where the aforementioned teenagers crash -- an obvious and egregious mixing of separate universes).
Special note should also be given to Miles Teller , who plays Willard, originally portrayed by Chris Penn. It seems blasphemous to say, but Teller is as charming as Penn was in 1984. It's once again proof that Brewer knew exactly what he was doing with this project, and each gamble paid off. Brewer didn't pull any punches (or slaps for that matter) in his attempt to update Footloose for the MTV generation err from the MTV generation.
Okay, the whole MTV generation thing is confusing. Brewer achieves the update however, despite everything working against him, managing to gives the audience something between a choking laugh and a smile.
Casting two professional dancers in the lead roles turned out to be a winning decision in regards to dramatic elements, as well as the physical/musical ones. it's a shame that Footloose has to exist in the world, but now that it does, this reviewer is okay with it. Strip away all the years of Saturday night on TNT love for the original, and Footloose (2011) is just as exciting, cheesy, and engaging as the original (even without the Bacon).
On the Side
It's nice to see Dennis Quaid in a role that he doesn't phone in. Still, he's borderline. Maybe he just Skyped it in this time.
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