(Kenny Wormald, Dennis Quaid, et al / PG-13 / 94 mins)
Overview: Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer takes the helm for this remake of the popular 1984 musical romance about a big-city teen who moves to a town that has outlawed dancing. Uprooted from Boston and reluctantly transplanted to the small Bible Belt town of Bomont, Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) finds himself in a repressed community still reeling from a devastating loss. Shortly before he arrived in Bomont, five local teens perished in a tragic car accident following a local dance.
Verdict: With Craig Brewer's updated version of 80's classic 'Footloose', we are treated to yet another episode in the continuous adventures of 'remakes we never really wanted'. While this new version does try to update the formula to fit in this era, its story and message feels extremely outdated and is handled far too seriously. What is lacking most is a feeling of genuine fun leaving only a handful of pretty people showing some mildly impressive moves.
The story of "Footloose" pretty much follows the original, with only a few alterations. Rebellious teen Ren McCormack (newcomer Kenny Wormald), exchanges his Boston city life with the quaint and tranquil surroundings of old fashioned Bomont, Tennessee. After a tragic car accident, killing several teens who came back from a dance party, local Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) has made sure that the city council abolished all forms of public dancing and controversial music. What follows is your typical teen movement, against an uptight community, whilst winning over the Reverend's out-of-control teenage daughter.
The basic premise of the movie is not different from its predecessor, but some changes have been made to update the feature. Most notable is the level of drama - a lot of time is spent showing the viewer how deeply the community is hurt by the tragic car accident. Also, the addition of a different, more dramatic backstory of Ren (in this version, he lost his mother to cancer), shows that Brewer is trying something different.
These changes are all fine and dandy, but it adds a lot more seriousness to the movie which it surely didn't need. Gone is the immense sense of camp and fun that makes the original movie still appealing. This is painfully shown in the opening scenes where Dennis Quaid's monologue gets way too heavy. The result is that the fun spirited nature of the original is nowhere to be seen and shows that the message is outdated from the start. The idea of a conservative town banning music is a wonderful premise for a movie... in the 80's. But now the story is just unbelievable and, at times, frankly ridiculous.