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:: Footloose

As a general rule I’m not a fan of remakes that do nothing to differ from the original… but for some reason I am feeling differently about Footloose. Perhaps it’s because there is no cover-up here, it’s a remake and nobody is trying to hide it. And despite the fact Footloose is set in modern times there are little nods (like haircuts) throughout the film that give a shout out to the original.

For those that never saw the original Footloose the film tells the story of Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald), a young man who arrives in a country town after the death of his mother. Upon arriving he discovers that the town lives under a number of rules introduced by Rev. Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) whose own son died in a car accident on the way home from dance. The rules include no listening to loud music and no dancing within town limits, they just happen to be two things that Ren enjoy. With his new friend, Willard (Miles Teller) and love interest, Ariel Moore (Julianne Hough) in tow Ren sets about changing the town’s opinion of him and the rules.

While so many modern remakes try to disguise the fact that they are indeed remakes director, Craig Brewer does no such thing. Kenny Wormald’s haircut throughout the film is a shout out back to the original while the soundtrack is made up of songs from the original along with some great new tracks. And with a handy script at hand the other important thing to take notice of is whether or not the dance sequences work… and to Brewer’s credit they do, although you can’t help but think of that that classic line from Not Another Teen Movie (‘isn’t it great how all the kids here are professional dance students) when all the kids who haven’t been allowed to dance for years get up and are perfect dancing.

As I mentioned, the script works… and works well. The great thing about Footloose is that it has a story to back up the dancing. Whether it be centering on Ren coming to terms with his mother’s death or the fact that Ariel is in an abusive relationship with Chuck (Patrick John Flueger) there is always enough drama going on to keep the non-dance fans happy. Credit must be paid to the screenwriters at hand as well as the script is actually well-written.

Another plus for Footloose is the fact that the cast can act as well as dance. Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough are certainly stars on the rise, and they are well backed up by Miles Teller, who plays the comic relief character perfectly, and Ziah Colon who put in some credible performances. As you would expect Dennis Quaid is once again on-song.

There are going to be people that say Footloose doesn’t hold up to the original, but don’t let them fool you. As far as remakes go this one is pretty good. It’s certainly enjoyable and you can’t really ask for more than that.