After a party, involving some drinking and dancing, Bobby causes a car accident killing himself and four other classmates. This causes an uproar in the conservative town of Bomont. Bobby’s father, Rev. Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) leads the town council in banning loud music and public dancing.
Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves to Bomont to live with his aunt and uncle after his mother dies and his dad skips town. Ren is from the Boston, and isn’t used to the small town ways. As a gymnast who loves loud music and dancing, not only is he unaware of the new Bomont laws, he definitely doesn’t appreciate them.
Ariel (Julianne Hough) is the preacher’s daughter. She’s rebelling against the standards her father tries to hold the town up to. Which is why she finds herself dating bad boy Chuck Cranston (Patrick John Flueger).
Ren has his sights set on two things. Ariel. And repealing the towns prohibitionist ways. He tries rally the town to let the senior class of Bomont High School have their prom.
This is almost a word for word remake of the original movie classic. This begs the question, why make the movie in the first place? The people who are most likely to see Footloose are the people who have already seen Footloose.
Now. For what I didn’t like about the remake:
If you’ve seen the original, and I’m assuming you have, you know what causes the town to carry out the bans on music and dancing. You don’t need to throw it in my face at the beginning of the movie.
For some reason, the remakers decided to countrify almost every song on the soundtrack. We need a hero was completely ruined, in my opinion. Barely existent. Ren’s “angry” dance, while cheesy in the original, is made even worse by the music selection.
The scene where Ren and Chuck play chicken on the tractors has been replaced with another test of male fortitude. While not an entirely bad substitution, it feels a little hacky. Although, you have to give them credit for giving the tractor bit a nod at the beginning of the scene.
It’s not entirely bad though.
The unveiling of the Volkswagen Ren drives felt a bit like when Bumblebee made his first appearance in the original Transformers movie. (It helps that it’s almost the exact same car.) You knew the car would show up, even aside from the movie posters. It’s the anticipation of it.
Julianne did ok for her first movie. But these are big shoes to fill. (She’s a lot easier on the eyes than Lori Singer. I’m just sayin’.) I think because my generation has put the original on such a pedestal. It makes it hard for the actors, and the remake as a whole, to get a fair shake. What really “makes” the movie, though, is Willard. Hilarious. His timing and delivery really give the movie the comedy kick it needs.
And the fact that the kids are all wearing the same outfits as their characters wore to the prom in the original. Huge points for that. (They’re not stylish by today’s standards, by any stretch of the imagination. I appreciate the wink to the people who made Footloose what it is, as well as my memories of it.)
It is a “fun” movie. Not anything that will win any awards. And they do their best to defile the original. But it does make you feel nostalgic a little. You may feel like you cheated on Kevin Bacon, but you won’t have that “What did I just do?” feeling in the morning.
Hey, at least it wasn’t as bad as the Karate Kid remake.
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