Film Review: ‘Footloose’ Remake Dances to Its Own Tune

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CHICAGO – If you’re gonna cut loose, “Footloose,” it is best to do what the production team and cast did in cutting this remake of the 1980s kitschy classic – pay deep homage to the source and modify it with a energetic and contemporary spin on the dance floor. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This “Footloose” has a spark of its own, due to the guidance of veteran director Craig Brewer (”Hustle and Flow,” “Black Snake Moan”). He creates a Footloose universe that absorbs the dimensions of the previous film, and steers the young cast to take all of it seriously enough to find their own way through the story. Although suffering from a few soft spots in the middle, “Footloose’ brims with enough frenetic dancing, friendship and real emotion to make a case that this is the better version.

The film begins with the crackling and familiar strains of the song “Footloose,” the 1980s classic by Kenny Loggins, sung in this version by Blake Shelton. The teenage party in the town of Bomont, Georgia, is in full swing, but afterwards some are over-served by the night. An automobile accident kills four of the revelers, including the son of Rev. Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid). In a strong reaction, the town bans dancing, carousing or any type of teenage gatherings.

Fast forward to four years later, Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormaid) is the new kid in town, having come from Boston after his mother has died. He now lives with his Uncle Wes (Ray McKinnon), who provides him with a place to stay and a yellow VW bug to fix up. His first days as a senior in high school are challenging, but he makes friends with Willard (Miles Teller) and has eyes for Ariel (Julianne Hough), the daughter of Rev. Moore. Ren loves to dance, and is surprised the town is on lock down from such choreography. Can this outside influence convince a whole town to “kick off your Sunday shoes”?

“Footloose” opens everywhere October 14th. Featuring Kenny Wormaid, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Ray McKinnon, Miles Teller and Ziah Colon. Screenplay by Dean Pitchford and Craig Brewer. Directed by Craig Brewer. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Footloose”

New Kid in Town: Kenny Wormaid as Ren in ‘Footloose’
New Kid in Town: Kenny Wormaid as Ren in ‘Footloose’
Photo credit: K.C. Bailey for Paramount Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Footloose”

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