'Footloose': Remake stays in step with original
This new version of the 1984 film, "Footloose," directed by Craig Brewer this time around — and starring Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Andie MacDowell and Dennis Quaid — is pretty much the same movie all over again, though Hough's dancing is a pleasure. The film is playing at several theaters in Seattle.
Seattle Times movie critic
'Footloose" with Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Andie MacDowell, Dennis Quaid. Directed by Craig Brewer, from a screenplay by Brewer and Dean Pitchford. 113 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, violence and language. Several theaters.
If you liked the 1984 "Footloose," with a dewy Kevin Bacon as a dancing rebel and Lori Singer as a not-so-innocent minister's daughter, you'll probably like the 2011 "Footloose" — it's pretty much the same movie, minus some of the more egregious '80s fashions.
Directed this time around by Craig Brewer ("Hustle & Flow," "Black Snake Moan") and choreographed rather snappily by Jamal Sims, this remake meticulously follows the footsteps of its predecessor. Ren MacCormack (newcomer Kenny Wormald, a marvelous dancer but a bit long in the tooth to play a teen) arrives from Boston to the small town of Bomont, his leather jacket shiny, his collar precisely flipped and his gaze coolly distant. He soon catches the eye of Ariel (Julianne Hough, formerly of "Dancing with the Stars"), daughter of Reverend Shaw (Dennis Quaid) — who, in response to a terrible accident that killed his son and several other teens, has banned teenage parties, drinking and dancing in the town. Will Ren lure Ariel away from her nasty boyfriend Chuck (Patrick John Flueger), kick off his Sunday shoes and make Bomont safe for line-dancing once more? Oh, you already know he will.
Fans of Hough will enjoy her dancing here — she's perpetually skipping and wriggling, as if her spirited Ariel just can't hold herself still — both solo and paired with the talented Wormald, whose "angry dance" (alone in a warehouse, accessorized with chains, as all rebellious teen boys do) is wonderfully acrobatic. Miles Teller ("Rabbit Hole") steals scenes as Ren's new best friend Willard, who endearingly learns how to dance. But there's not much here that you won't find in the original, which also offers such pleasures as the very young Sarah Jessica Parker in a small role, and an exhaustive survey of early-'80s footwear over the opening credits.
Despite its frequent goofy charm, there's no compelling reason for the new "Footloose" to exist. Both homage and imitation, it's agreeable to watch but instantly forgotten.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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