Footloose: Film Review

Footloose is back.

BIG MISTAKE.

So big, in fact, I had to give the entire phrase its own paragraph. You might be thinking, “Wow, another Hollywood remake of a classic that went very, very wrong. Big surprise.”

Well, you’re right. Completely right, in fact. Hollywood, despite the fact that it aspires to a certain level of “art”, is in fact not a creative industry. If it were, we’d only see remakes when they were absolutely necessary improvements upon original ideas that had somehow lost their way in the execution. The 2011 incarnation of Footloose is no such movie.

The main problem is likely that the remake is based literally on the original’s screenplay. I don’t mean an updated or adapted screenplay to make concessions for circumstances that may have changed between 2011 and 1984. I mean it uses the exact same screenplay, word for word, song for song, and gyration for gyration.

Why, exactly?

If the makers were concerned that the film would be reviled by purists who felt the remake was too far off the tread of the original, well, they were only half right: the film will be reviled by purists, though for the exact opposite reason: a remake should change something about the original in a meaningful or at least entertaining way. Footloose fails profoundly on this account. In fact, it fails galactically.

Clearly, Paramount was either too lazy or too fearful to try something new with the story, a story which you should by now know by heart: back in the Dark Ages of America (meaning, like, last week) a southern town had banned dancing because its mayor hailed from the Ruling Class of the Appalachian Taliban.

Well, almost: a group of teenagers die in a car crash after a crazy high school kegger, which compels the Rev. Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) to outlaw music and dance. I didn’t know a reverend had such political sway . . . gotta love the South.

Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) arrives in the quaint but still and silent town of Bomont from the Devil’s Playground that is Boston, Massachusetts. Inevitably, he rouses the ire of the town folk for, one, breaking the law by playing his radio too loud (I imagine the residents of Kabul and Tehran face much the same penal grievance) and two, for flirting openly with Ariel (Julianne Hough), the reverend’s daughter who has apparently been “claimed” by the town jughead bully, Chuck Cranston. You know the rest, even if you haven’t seen the original.

Apart from the fact that the film has no real reason to exist, its worst offense is in the casting. Wormald has none of Kevin Bacon’s understated charm or charisma, and comes across as just another smiling pretty boy whose main interest is in preserving his prettiness. Yes, the boy can dance, but can he sustain a major motion picture? Sorry Wormy, methinks not.

I am hardly crazy about the original, but this remake made me long for the days when Blockbusters were still around in great numbers and where the discount bin was specially reserved for movies like this remake, which were never destined for the big screen.

Sometimes nostalgia is a bad thing.


23 comments
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spangly
spangly

I hope this remake turd gets flushed this weekend and we don't have to hear about it again.

spangly
spangly

that sounds cute. Grease is the word.

Boz
Boz

Yeah, I think it was kinda like the audition in glee, maybe less weird but it was enough to make me laugh. haha.

Glimmer
Glimmer

i think ever version of 'grease' circa *now* needs to have a guy singing "oh oh oh oh" and "oh yeah"

so the casting wasn't like an ep of 'glee' ? ha...

and we'll ask for for more details of the bozness from now on...

Boz
Boz

well you guys never ask. Yeah, the casting was probably one of the most hilarious thing ever, I sat there trying not to laugh cause there were some girls who got really nervous and forgot the line and the lyric of the song. There's this girl whose voice was shaking like crazy, I couldnt even understand what she was saying. Hahahaha.

Glimmer
Glimmer

so you were the director/did you use the casting couch ?

and you directed why do you keep such secrets from us ? :)

Boz
Boz

thats okay, well at least I finally do something that will be remembered by everybody.

Boz
Boz

'We go together like rama lama lama ke ding a dinga a dong.'

I love that song. My campus performed the play 2 years ago and I was the director of the play. ahahahaha.

Leni
Leni

Oh and damn, that is an ugly picture of Julianne.

Leni
Leni

THIS

I love Grease!

My daughter loves to dance to almost every single song. So do I :)

Glimmer
Glimmer

and they'll make a film about the fan that sent the anthrax

Boz
Boz

If they ever try to remake Grease, I'm gonna send a letter filled with anthrax to the producers.

joey
joey

If you're using Rotten Tomatoes, Top Critics is a better measure. Right now, Footloose has a score of 53 percent, which is mediocre.

Bolt Uprite
Bolt Uprite

Remaking a bad movie is usually not a good idea. The trailer is unintentionally hilarious, the "kids", ahem, take themselves REALLY SERIOUSLY, and they dance like they've been hitting the clubs in Manhattan, South Beach, and L.A. instead of living a lifetime of no terpsichorean exposure in CowPie, USA. The premise was stupid in the 80's but even more stupid today.

skilligan
skilligan

NO way i would watch this garbage

Glimmer
Glimmer

59% on metacritic

74% on rt

metacritic is always more brutal/regardless of the film/scores are usually lower on metacritic. but i'm drawn to meta more...

but yeah 74 on rt is good indeed.you can hold your head high...

Nookies
Nookies

Footloose got a 74% FRESH on rotten tomatoes :S

mud hen
mud hen

The movie can't be made in the present. Banning dancing makes zero sense in 2011 barely made sense in 1984 (didn't then either really).

I think some re-makes go overboard with changes. I like movies if remade to stick to the classic story. Some remakes that change story have been good but it's always a hit or miss thing.

Sometimes it's good to see background changes or better special effects. maybe slightly tweak story to make it more modern. Other than that re-makes don't need to be changed much in my opinion.

Willy Wonka and the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory are both good in their own way.

dillan
dillan

I like Dennis Quaid but I'm not happy with Wormald & Hough as the lead couple.

I'm not going to see this.

And Kenny Wormald is not handsome.

Glimmer
Glimmer

looks a bit like jennifer aniston in the pic you're using

Glimmer
Glimmer

You know the rest, even if you haven’t seen the original.

haven't seen the original,maybe sometimes never giving a damn is the correct option...

Moe
Moe

SHOCKER!!

they should've just donated the money to all those dying people in Somalia...