Footloose (2011) (M)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/10/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 113 mins

Hugely entertaining, remake that's obviously been made with a healthy love of the original film and succeeds thanks to a faithful script, terrific dance sequences and strong performances from its cast.

What's it all about?
Directed by Craig Brewer, Footloose is based on the much loved 1984 teen classic and stars newcomer Kenny Wormald as Ren McCormack, a city boy who comes to live in the small town of Bomont after the death of his mother. However, Ren is shocked to discover that the town has banned loud music and unsupervised public dancing as a result of a tragedy three years earlier in which local preacher Reverend Shaw Moore's (Dennis Quaid) son and four other teens were killed in an accident after drinking at a dance.

Things quickly get more complicated when Ren falls for Ariel (Julianne Hough), the preacher's ultra-rebellious daughter, with Shaw quick to blame her behaviour on the newcomer's influence. At the same time, Ren makes several friends in his new town and agrees to help new best buddy Willard (Miles Teller) learn how to dance.

The Good
Wormald's not quite as good as Kevin Bacon in the original film, but he's an appealing screen presence with some nifty dance moves to boot, while Julianne Hough is smoking hot as wild child Ariel and there's strong comic support from Miles Teller, whose learning-to-dance and subsequent pay-off scenes are much more entertaining than Chris Penn's similar moments the first time round. Quaid is good too, though he lacks some of the fire that John Lithgow brought to the part and is possibly a bit too twinkly eyed.

The film has obviously been made with a great deal of love for the original material (it's as much homage as remake), since the majority of the scenes are exactly the same; they even use some of the same outfits and cover versions of the some of the original songs. Obvious welcome changes include making the town significantly more ethnically diverse (complete with extra dance routines), though the classic Tractor Chicken Game has been replaced by a bus racing sequence that's fun but not as gleefully silly (there's a bizarre tractor cameo by way of apology).

The Bad
The only real problem with the film, at least as far as fans of the original will be concerned, is that it softens the edges of Julianne Hough's character – in the 1984 version she's much more messed up and the scene where she's playing a game of chicken with an oncoming lorry with one leg inside two parallel trucks is gone completely, replaced by a scene where she ... um ... sits on the window edge of a racing car and gets driven really fast.

Worth seeing?
Footloose is a highly entertaining, well acted remake that will send you out of the cinema with a smile on your face. Recommended.

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Footloose (2011) (M)
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Content updated: 20/01/2020 16:38

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