The new version of Footloose, the Kevin Bacon classic, is not just an homage, in some spots it is a virtual repeat of the lines and actions of the first film. Still there are some moments of originality in Director Craig Brewer's version and they blend well with the "repeats." Kenny Wormald is no Kevin Bacon but then Lori Singer is no Julianne Hough. So you balance out there too. What is left is a good if not great remake of a movie that will still get your toes tapping.
This time out Ren MacCormack (Wormald) comes to Georgia to live with his Uncle Wes (Ray McKinnon) and his family. His mother has recently died and his father hasn't been in the picture for a long time, so he needs a place to live. He has been living in Boston so coming to Bomont, Georgia is quite a shock. He is especially stunned to learn dancing and the playing of loud music is banned.
One of the first people he meets at high school is Willard (Miles Teller). Willard is a good guy but he can't dance. That hasn't been a problem in the past but now the kids are going across the county line to a place where dancing is allowed and his girlfriend Rusty (Zia Colon) wants him to dance too. Ren decides to teach him to dance leading up to one of the best numbers in the movie "Let's Hear It For the Boy."
Ren meanwhile has run into wild child Ariel (Hough). Her father (Dennis Quaid) is the local minister and he doesn't want her having anything to do with Ren. This just encourages her and the romance is on!
The movie leads quickly to a confrontation between Ren and the City Council about the dancing ban. It is the adults against the teens and it still provides pretty good fodder for a movie. Especially when you pour on the dancing, particularly by Hough, and bring back some of the best songs from the original score.
The movie is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.
Most movies don't need to be remade, but some can be successful. Remember a film from last year titled True Grit? Well Footloose is not True Grit but it is enough fun to make the effort worthwhile. Wormald is not the most dynamic leading man but Hough is so compelling she makes up for his deficiencies. And watching her dance makes you wish that you could be footloose too.
There is also the benefit of having McKinnon add his dry wit and Miles Teller portraying the best friend everybody would like to have. These two men amp up the enjoyment level while Quaid, who seems uncomfortable in his role, drags the movie down.
I scored Footloose a put on your dancing shoes 6 out of 10.
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