Director : Craig Brewer
Starring : Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, Miles Teller
Running Time : 108 minutes
DVD Release Date : 9 February 2012
“There comes a time to cut loose”
Okay, I need to start by saying I am not a big fan of studios remaking MY beloved 80’s movies…especially the feel-good dancing ones. So when my editor asked me to review this movie, I did actually think about it before saying yes. She trusted me so this would be a good test of my ability to be objective in reviews. Right?
The day before the DVD arrived, the original Footloose was showing on Foxtel so I took it as a sign and watched it. Yep still as cheesy and as 80’s and as fantastic as ever! Oh dear….
For those who don’t know, Footloose is the story of a small town that has outlawed dancing after the death of 5 teenagers in a car accident. Ren (Wormald) a young rebel from Boston arrives to live with relatives after the death of his mother. He is immediately drawn to Ariel (Hough) the local preacher’s daughter, who is herself rebelling against her father and the town’s ultra-controlling ways. He decides to take a stand against the city elders and, with the support of his family and the local kids, goes about getting his graduating class a prom to remember. Dancing included!
The movie begins with a bunch of teenagers jumping and dancing and singing their hearts out to the original Kenny Loggins version of ‘Footloose’. As they should! It’s a GREAT song that has stood the test of time. My inner 80’s child sneered but I smiled just a little. Then an homage to the dancing feet opening credits of the original movie began and I smiled a little more.
The movie follows exactly the plot of the original. I was a little bored. Then Willard (Teller) bumps into Ren in the school corridor. Jump back! It is like seeing a ghost…surely this is the offspring of Chris Penn, the original Willard. No… but the likeness is absolutely uncanny! Teller is the stand out of this movie. His dry, country boy delivery is spot on and he steals every scene he is in. Watch this actor.
Okay here it is…..I did enjoy this movie. I watched it again before I wrote my review and I liked it even more. It has been updated for a new generation and I didn’t like some of the reworked songs, especially Footloose as a country song, but such is life. They still started with the Loggins version so it’s all good. You will hear lots of the original soundtrack….it just sounds a little different.
I did love the big line dancing sequence about an hour in. Huh? My inner 80’s child was sneering at me by this stage. I like this remake and I liked line dancing? Geez, I was sneering at myself.
The leads are dancers who act, not actors taught to dance, and it shows. The dancing really is phenomenal. And there is much more of it in this movie.
Speaking of the leads, they are good. Engaging, great dancers and their growing romance is believable. They won’t set the world on fire with their acting but you don’t fast forward through it either.
If you are not familiar with or a fan of the original, you will enjoy this movie for what it is….. a simple, fun dance movie. If you are a lover of the original, give it a go. Watch it once and let out all your ‘it’s not as good as the original and he is NOT Kevin Bacon blah blah blah’ rantings like I did. Then watch it again……it’s not a bad movie now, is it? Yeah I told you so.
Now, I have to go and appease my sulking inner 80’s child as she is hunched in a corner muttering to herself and refusing to speak to me. I think I will let her watch Flashdance…..