‘Footloose’ charms with 80s class and 2011 sass

With a rebellious chip on his shoulder, city-boy Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves to small town USA where rock ‘n’ roll and public dancing are banned. Everyone knows the story, the music, the legacy this film leaves.

“Footloose,” a 1984 classic, was later adapted into a Broadway musical and produced a soundtrack with two Billboard toppers as well as launched Kevin Bacon’s acting career. The cheesy 80’s teen musical is a cult classic of sorts so it goes without saying that the announcement of its remake was not well received.

Perhaps one of the most iconic scenes features a sweaty Bacon with distinct acid-washed jeans and a white beater on a backdrop of an old warehouse, moving in teen angst to “Never” – this scene is a staple in American film history.

It sparked a revolution among audiences. “I want ‘Footloose’ to do to this generation what it did to my generation,” director Craig Brewer told the New York Times.

You can now see an equally seasoned Wormald move in angst to The White Stripes single “Catch Hell Blues.” Brewer did the scene justice, keeping much of the same movements and emotion.

This reboot offers more then just a carbon copy of a timeless film. With a lot of the same one-liners, iconic shots and music, you have to give Brewer props.

“If you’re a fan of the original, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to check this one out because we are all huge fans of the movie, top to bottom, cast, crew, catering, everyone on set was in love with the original,” said Wormald to about.com in defense of the film.

The plot pretty much remains the same. When hurting teen McCormack moves from Boston, Ma. to Bomont, Ga. to live with family, he finds a challenge in not being able to express himself through music and movement, all while falling for the preacher’s daughter. McCormack takes the town by storm, wanting to abolish the laws preventing teenage social lives.

Taking on the role of the good-girl-gone-bad Ariel Moore is Julianne Hough, alongside her best friend Rusty, played by Ziah Colon. Dennis Quaid plays Ariel’s Bible-thumping father, and her supportive mother is played by Andie MacDowell.

Many of the young, new actors are unknown to today’s audiences. Brewer said, “The studio felt very comfortable with me completely getting fresh new faces.”

Brewer set out to make this film grittier then the original. In the original, the rock ’n’ roll ban came from a question of religion and morals. The remake’s ban directly resulted from an accident killing five teens.

“We’re more of a culture that overreacts and we overreact for the right reasons,” said Brewer. “But I think also sometimes some of the good that we try and do actually causes more harm.”

In perhaps the coolest scene in the remake, McCormack pulls out his uncle’s records and finds Quiet Riot’s single, “Band Your Head.” He grins and proceeds to pull out his iPod and play that same song. It’s timeless and creates a parallel from 1984 to 2011.

Needless to say, “Footloose” wouldn’t be “Footloose” without the Kenny Loggins’ hit. In an effort to make it modern, Brewer had country superstar Blake Shelton cover the song. He kept very close to the original recording, hardly changing anything.

Twenty-seven years later, “Footloose” is still a classic. The remake tastefully takes the 1984 film and introduces it to a new generation with a few tweaks. Like McCormack says, “This is our time.”

Check it out…you might just find that this remake isn’t so bad after all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *