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Mike Wilder brings you movie reviews. Each week a Selection of reviews for new releases and older films plus movie comparisons.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Review of Footloose (2011) by Mike

Title: Footloose (2011)
Original UK Release Date: 14th October 2011

Original US Release Date: 14th October 2011

UK Rating: 12

US Rating: PG-13

Director: Craig Brewer

Genre: Musical/Drama/Romance

Plot: After the death of his Mother, Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves from the city to a small town to live with his Aunt and Uncle. He finds out the hard way that loud music and dancing is against the law here and sets out to change things.

Mike's Review

            I have always tried to fill my reviews with honesty, so let’s continue in this style. I am a big fan of the original Footloose Film! There I admitted it. It is a guilty pleasure of mine. A great uplifting film with a cool soundtrack.

            A few years ago I found out that a remake of this great film was announced. My first thought was “really bad idea”. The film is a classic with one of the best theme songs of all time. This wasn’t going to be a reimagining of the film in the style of The Karate Kid (2010), but a remake of the original. These rarely end up as a good idea and never equal or better the

original. How could the new version possibly live up to my expectations?

            Before I watched the remake I listened to the soundtrack, and by listen I mean played a few seconds of all the new versions of the classic songs, and by played I mean skipped to the next song in disgust at what I was hearing with every song. It was bad. This cemented my feelings that I was going to hate the new film. With trepidation and a lot of negative thoughts I sat down to watch my new most hated movie.

            The film follows the same story of the big city kid having to move in with family in a small town where religion plays a big part of everyday life. After the death of a group of teenagers killed in a road accident while travelling back from a night out drinking and dancing, the town led by the local preacher declares music and dance are bad and they ban them from public use anywhere in the town. The city kid clashes with the authority and attempts to change the towns views.

            The new version started off well with the classic Oscar nominated song playing over the opening credits. Once it ended I expected the film to go downhill fast. But I found myself enjoying it! Not just thinking it was ok but really enjoying the film. The characters were good, the story updated and changes from the original worked well. While listening to the soundtrack and hating the new versions of the songs, hearing them in the film they fit and make sense.

            The new actors in the film were for the most part as good the original cast. You have veteran actors Dennis Quaid as Rev. Shaw Moore and Andie MacDowell as his wife Vi Moore, they are just as good as John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest in the original. Taking over the lead roles from Kevin Bacon as Ren MacCormack and Lori Singer as Ariel Moore are new comers Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough. They are really good and make the roles their own. The film comes to life because of these actors. However the characters of Willard previously played by the late great Chris Penn now played by Miles Teller and Rusty originally Sarah Jessica Parker now Ziah Colon, don’t live up to the original. This is not to say they aren’t good in the film they are, but the original actors seemed to shine and stand out more. This made the characters a lot more memorable.

            The film adds a new introduction and shows us the back story of the accident. This is something the original was missing and it improves the story. There are also a few tributes to the 1984 version. The best is at the end when Ren and Ariel are wearing the same outfits as characters wear in the ending to the original and the same final dance routine is used.

            I wanted to really hate this but I couldn’t. I liked it almost as much as the original. It really is a fun film that succeeds in modernising the story. I almost rated it 9/10, however right at the very end it went wrong. The final dance routine used a new version of the song Footloose. The song is a timeless classic and the new version just doesn’t hit the mark. The film makers should have used the new version in the opening credits and stuck with the original for the films climax. For this reason I give the film 8/10

8 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Julianne Hough as Ariel Moore


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