As long as remakes keep making money, Hollywood will keep on making them. The latest classic that has gotten a face lift and been modernized for today’s audience is Footloose. The 1984 classic starring Kevin Bacon with the unforgettable tune that made Kenny Loggins famous, was remade and released in theaters last fall – and is now available on DVD.
The new Footloose starts out with an uplifting atmosphere, though the mood quickly turns somber as 5 teenagers lose their lives in a tragic car accident influenced (surely) by the drinking which took place earlier in the evening. One of those that lost their lives was Bobby, Rev. Shaw Moore’s son. Needless to say this profoundly affected the Moore’s family – especially Bobby’s sister Ariel (Julianne Hough).
The city’s answer to the horrible accident is to impose curfews on the youth and also make amplified music and insidious dancing illegal. No public displays of dancing would be allowed unless supervised at a school or church function.
Well that sounds like lots of fun doesn’t it?
Three years later, enter Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) and his rad dance moves. He falls for Ariel against her father’s wishes and makes it his personal duty to challenge the city on their crazy dance laws. You guys know the story.
So where does it different from the classic beloved Footloose? Besides an updated wardrobe with skimpy outfits for the girls and some up-with-the-times music, the differences are fairly subtle. The movie takes place in the South instead of the West, MacCormack is an orphan, and the acting isn’t nearly as good (which isn’t that subtle).
Don’t get me wrong, the current cast does a good job. Dennis Quaid gives a solid performance as always, and Julianne Hough actually feels like a good fit for the role. I even mostly believe Kenny Wormald as the bad boy with smooth moves and a heart of gold. However, Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Sarah Jessica Parker were Footloose. Sometimes you just don’t need to remake the classics when you got it right the first time.
My thoughts on this being an unnecessary remake aside, the film has some fantastic dancing. The choreographed dance sequences are without question the best part of the film. The music is also addictive. I went and downloaded the soundtrack after watching the movie, and it’s moved its way up on my playlist. Guess it proves I’m a southern girl!
While it’s by no means better than the original, the new Footloose is still a fun movie that puts a smile on your face, it’s worth checking out for the dancing alone!
Review By: Emma Loggins