After Fright Night’s success at the box office, we are now less hesitant in watching remakes.
Add another new movie to your ‘remakes’ list, guys. Here comes Craig Brewer’s version of Footloose. Footloose is the remake of Herbert Ross’s 1984 iconic classic starring Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer.
But no, it’s not a bad remake. In fact, I am here to tell you that this movie is just as good as the original. If not, even better.
Here’s a little synopsis for you. Footloose tells the story of Ren (Kenny Wormald), a city boy, transplanted from Boston to Georgia for his senior year of high school, and his battle to overturn a ridiculous small town ban on loud music and public dancing as his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.
Only a few tweaks have been done to the overall storyline. For those who loved the original, don’t fret. This modern day remake still delivers plenty of similarities. The revamp boasts edgier dance moves, very sexy choreography and a hot young cast.
Director Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow,” “Black Snake Moan”) does inject new twists, even if the plot largely remains the same. Instead of a game of chicken on tractors, for instance, you get a dirt-track race involving some decked-out school buses. However, he spends a little too much time on these action sequences to the detriment of the dance numbers, even though the music is better than the original.
Kenny Wormald, a former dancer for Justin Timberlake, stars as Ren MacCormark, the mysterious new boy in the small town of Bomont, Ga. He’s got the looks to make the girls swoon and the moves to make guys want to take a shot at line dancing. Look out for the scene of him performing the angry dance. Flawless and impressive.
However, he doesn’t look as rugged as Bacon and lacks the emotional draw that Bacon portrayed in the original. Considering the fact that Wormald is a professional dancer, he’s great as the lead. But only time will tell if Wormald develops a strong screen career.
‘Dancing with the Stars’ fame Julianne Hough plays Ariel, the town’s rebellious bad girl and the flirtatious preacher’s daughter. She is far more believable as the rebellious Ariel, than her 1980s counterpart. Personally, I feel that Hough is a discovery; she is a surprisingly terrific actress and she generates warm (if not quite piping-hot) chemistry with her co-star.
The town’s laws and morals are led by Ariel’s father, the Rev. Shaw Moore, played by Dennis Quaid. Moore has banned “lascivious dancing in public” for minors, after a carload of teens from the first scene are killed in a car accident.
Miles Teller as Willard, the good-natured friend of Ren’s is funny and charming enough to have a real future. He, in particular, has natural timing and is the show-stealer, I must say. The gangly and excellent Ray McKinnon, as Ren’s uncle, is also a considerable addition. Another key character in this film is Ariel’s abusive, bullying jerk boyfriend, Chuck, played by Patrick John Flueger.
There are four major dance sequences in this film including a parking lot of a hangout where the style and dance of music is all hip-hop, and the warehouse which is Ren’s solo dance to hard rock. There was also the infamous bar dance, known for the line dance set to the sounds of “Fake I.D.” by Big and Rich, as well as Willard’s confrontation with a drunk patron. The scene didn’t disappoint, and the prom scene at the end was the only dance scene where they kept some of the original choreography. However, the dancing was incorporated so smoothly into the movie that I wouldn’t categorise it as a “dance movie.” The plot allowed for the producers to integrate dancing as an idea without letting it be the sole subject of the film.
Much of the music was updated, including Blake Shelton’s version of the theme “Footloose.” Other songs featured in the original film, such as “Let’s Hear it for the Boys,” were brought into the new film. Well, pull out those dancing shoes because you will want to be dancing in your seats the entire time!
Footloose is a remake that will appeal to both fans of the original and a newer audience. It stays true to its predecessor in heart; but portrays teenage rebellion and young love in a fresh and revealing way. This revived classic brings a refreshed version forward and makes it a little more realistic for the modern day. Give it a shot.
Footloose will be dancing its way to the cinemas from 26 october onwards. But there will be sneak previews from the 21st to the 23rd. Sweet!
Till then, this is Chella signing off, cutting loose.