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Remakes are a very tough grab in Hollywood, but they are very easy to sell to the general audiences. Whether they are campy 80s remakes or remakes of bad but fun movies, it’s almost as if Hollywood is trying to give the kids from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and soon 90s kids a sense of deja vu. Let’s face it, remakes will never go away, but sometimes there is that one, that special one that turns out to be something quite exceptional. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the case with Footloose, the remake of the 1980s Kevin Bacon classic. What could have been just another dumb remake for teens was a well made, somewhat intense movie with incredible dancing and some solid acting from lead actors Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough, toe tapping remakes of classic Footloose songs, and high energy dance moves that could be considered better than any featured in the ‘Step Up’ movies.
In case you have no idea what the story of Footloose is, it’s very simple: A few years prior to when the movie begins, five teens from a small Midwestern town of Bomont were killed in a car crash coming home from a dance. Because of this, public dancing is a violation of the law there. Ren McCormick (Wormald), a Boston boy who’s recently lost both parents moves to Bomont to live with his aunt and uncle. His introduction to Bomont? Getting issued a ticket for driving with the radio blasting rock & roll. Shocked and angered, McCormick goes on a mission to abolish this unnecessary law and mobilize the kids in town to stand up for what they believe in.
I have only seen half of the original Footloose, so I can’t exactly make the shot for shot comparison. However from what I’ve seen and been told by many close to me, this movie is almost exactly like the original. The only main difference between the two is the time that each take place in, which means different dancing moves and different songs, or the same song but set to the modern vibe. The tone of this film is sexy, funny, and rough, which is exactly what it needs to be. The drama of the film comes from the teens in Bomont who want to rebel in any way possible, even if that means getting in trouble with their parents or even with the law. I like how the parents of Bomont are so mournful that they can’t let go of the tragedy that was. Sure they go a bit extreme on it in terms of the law, but it fit perfectly into this teen flick. The movie is so wonderful because not only does it provide fun entertainment for the teen factor, but it also teaches the viewers that it’s okay to hold onto tragedies, but you have to let go of them soon.
The casting in this movie could not have been more pitch perfect. Newcomer Kenny Wormald is fantastic as Ren. His portrayal of the lonely bad boy who has a thing for the preacher’s daughter was flawless. No, it’s nothing Award-worthy, aside from an MTV Movie Award, but his role is great, and I can’t wait to see how far Wormald goes in Hollywood. Another great performance comes from Julianne Hough, of “Dancing With The Stars” fame. She has all the characteristics of turning a teen guy on. She has the pop, the flare, the mood, and especially the sexy heat. It’s sad when people automatically dismiss hot young actresses as bad ones, because this girl can seriously act! Hough is fantastic playing what I like to call “the town tart.” She is skanky, fierce, and just downright scared out of her mind. Plus, as an added bonus, her hot pants couldn’t get any shorter. See America, there’s something for everyone in this movie.
There are two big adult names in supporting roles: Dennis Quaid, who is great as the town preacher, and Andie McDowell as his wife. In this film, Quaid’s acting has stepped up to the top, giving a very intense, emotional performance, and it may possibly be his best performance on film. I doubt nominations will be up his alley, but Quaid owns this role, and he has never been better. As for McDowell, it was nice to see her in a movie again. She plays the peacemaker between her husband and daughter, and does so in a very subtle but moving way, so it adds a sense of heart to the dying love between her somewhat crazy husband and tramp of a daughter. The only other film I have seen her in is the classic Bill Murray comedy ‘Groundhog Day,’ which is a very moving comedy. She’s not terrible, and she’s not excellent, but this is the kind of movie that she most definitely needed. A supporting cast as fantastic as the main leads? How can you pass that up?
Footloose is that rare remake that can stand alone as its own movie. Sure there are the expected clichés put in throughout, and the dialogue can sometimes be very cheesy. However that’s expected from the remake of one of the cheesiest 80s movie ever made. The leads were fantastic, the story was cool yet predictable, and the dancing will make you jealous as hell! If there is anything coming out in October that I can ensure you is a well deserved “must see film,” then get you ass’ to the movie theater on October 14 and get ready cut loose. So far this year, I have not seen a single movie twice in theaters. I may possibly break that rule with Footloose. Don’t worry, I’ll see the entire original film and write a review about it. But for now, enjoy the sleek and fun teen movie with humor, heart, and drama to appeal to many. Let’s dance!
In Theaters October 14th
Directed by: Craig Brewer
Written by: Craig Brewer and Dean Pitchford
Featuring: Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Andie MacDowell and Dennis Quaid
Plot: City kid Ren McCormack moves to a small town where rock ‘n’ roll and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.