Footloose (2011)

“You think I speak funny? You should hear you from my end!”

Cast:  Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid

It’s like the original, but with modern music and young actors who probably needed a break – they might still be looking for their break after this.

After a tragic car accident takes the lives of 5 high school students, Bomont outlaws the factors that they believed contributed to this horrific event, dancing and rock music. Enter Ren McCormack, a city kid with a cheeky attitude.

After the passing of his mother, Ren is sent to live with his Aunt and Uncle in Tennessee. When hearing of these ridiculous bans he decides something needs to be done, so begins his mission to have these laws abolished. Along with complicated love interest Ariel and his best friend, homegrown cowboy Willard, Ren and the gang are pretty much the same as they were in 1984.

Now I haven’t actually seen the original Footloose, but after watching the remake I can only wonder why they decided to modernise this film. From what I have heard, they really didn’t have too. The only differences are the music, the dancing and the decline in acting (though this point is arguable!).

I can vouch for the bad acting, it was terrible. To me it seems like the casting department were just looking for good dancers and thought that it would make up for the terrible performances. Well it didn’t. Wormald just couldn’t carry the script or make anything he did seem believable, never mind organising an uprising against Bomont’s authoritative figures. In most scenes he seemed uncomfortable and it was only through his dancing did he shine. Still, he’s no lead. Julianna Hough was better than Wormald, but only by a fraction. Again her dancing was spot on and she was well paired with Wormald, though they lacked chemistry when it came to dialogue which was a massive error for the lead romance.

As for Dennis Quaid and Andie MacDowell, they really didn’t fit in with the script. Whether it was through embarrassing facial expressions or overacting to try and compensate for their terrible judgement to be in the film, it just wasn’t meant to be and they knew it too. The only hope at saving the film was in Teller who was actually a joy to watch. Playing the loveable Willard, his transformation from klutz to smooth mover was great to see play out on screen. He had a charisma and appeal that Wormald lacked severely.

As a whole the film needed more charisma, better actors, more dancing scenes and to seem much less desperate. Maybe they should have just left the original Footloose as it was, it definitely didn’t need remaking if this was the result.

Star rating:  4/10

Directed by Craig Brewer.

Running time 113 minutes.

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