It’s no secret that the critics, and the general public, seem to hate remakes. What usually happens is a director picks a well-loved and well-known film of the past and decides that one version of it just isn’t enough and goes ahead and ruins it with modern gimmicks. Though I have to say, as far as remakes go, Footloose (2011) it definitely one of the better ones.
The storyline is essentially the same as that of the 1984 original. The film begins with a fatal car crash after a night of dancing and so the father of the driver, Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid), persuades the city council of Bomont to enforce a ban on all unsupervised dancing for teenagers under the age of eighteen. Three years later, Ren McCormack moves from Boston to Bomont to live with his aunt and uncle after his mother’s death. Ren is immediately attracted to Shaw Moore’s rebellious teenage daughter, Ariel; however, she’s already dating someone and her father doesn’t trust him. As soon as Ren learns about the dancing ban, he makes plans to do away with it so that the senior class can have a real prom and the rest of the story goes from there.
The beginning of the film left me feeling slightly confused as to what time period this movie was set in and I was skeptical about the rest of the film. Everything about it, the cars, the clothes, everything suggested that this was set in 80s, but then, BAM, Ren pulls out his iPod classic. Confusing much? I don’t actually know how things roll down in the state of Georgia so I can’t really say whether or not this is an accurate representation of modern day Georgia, but I would’ve thought that they could’ve included more than a simple iPod to suggest the year this was set in.
Personally, I think the dancing scenes in the remake were much more visually attractive than those in the original, though I suppose this was to be expected. They were a lot livelier, there was a lot more colour and they were just lot more exciting. The quality of the dancing was truly excellent and you could tell that there was such precision in each and every move. The soundtrack that accompanied these scenes was also very catchy and made you want to jump up and dance. There was a lot less emphasis on Ren’s gymnastic background in the new film; however, they more than made up for this with the better dance scenes.
Apart from the confusing beginning, Footloose is a really great film. I was actually quite surprised by this as the two main characters are played by lesser known actors: Julianne Hough and Kenny Wormald. However, the passion for dancing really comes across from both the actors and the dancers and this lights up the film. This story is about trying to convince the town that dancing is actually great for the soul and it certainly convinced me of that, which is probably why the general consensus is that the new Footloose is better than the original. Clearly the combination of snazzier dance skills and livelier music were the keys to this film’s success. This film will leave your toes tapping, itching to dance, so if you’re in the mood for something fun and energetic – Footloose is the film for you.