The only difference between this version of “Footloose” and the 1984 original is that Kenny Wormald, who stepped into Kevin Bacon’s shoes as Ren McCormack, actually did his own angry dance (unlike Bacon who needed a double). Other than that, it’s hard to tell the difference. I don’t think we needed a remake of a movie that was actually good as it is. And even though Wormald is a talented dancer, he still lacks Bacon’s charisma. The plot is basically the same: McCormack is the new kid in town who arrives from Boston to stay with his Aunt and Uncle after his mother dies, only to discover the strict code of living in Bomont. It seems that the local Rev. (Dennis Quaid) has banned dancing after four students died in a postprom car crash 3 years earlier. But of course Ren has to rebel, which he does at some point, with the help of the reverend’s daughter Ariel, and his new buddy Willard. I could say more, but do I really need to? “Footloose” 2011 is clearly a movie that depends on the charisma of its stars and a certain lightness of touch to make it work. The actors are likable and believable, but it’s not the same when you’ve seen it all before, and better. Still, how well you like the end result will depend on whether or not you’ve seen the 1984 movie. Moviegoers who aren’t familiar with the Bacon version and who crave light entertainment will probably find something here. The best thing I can say about it is also the worst thing I can say about it: it’s a remake. It’s not a bad movie per se, but it’s an example of Hollywood’s product made to satisfy a commercial demand, as opposed to a movie born out of passion to tell a good story, like “The Artist” or “Hugo” for instance. In other words: it’s instantly forgettable.
Categories: The Twenty-First Century