You can wear out those Sunday shoes quickly, especially when forced to wear them all week long.
When Ren McCarthy arrives small in town Bomont, he discovers dances are banned following a tragic accident several years earlier which killed five high schoolers. Not only that, if you blare music as you drive your car along a country road you can get fined, and you can easily get dubbed a bad boy.
He soon locks horns with police, preacher, and headmaster. When his attention turns to the attractive, rebellious yet troubled preachers daughter, Ariel, played by Julianne Hough, she blanks him.
Highschoolers have a secret place to blare music, and get footloose. Before long the authorities appear.
Now Ren moves and catch the eye of Ariel. Her brother died in the accident, messing her up, and she acts out, thrillseeking, dangerously self destructive, she dates the local bad boy. As the attraction grows, conflicts arise with both the preacher, and the bad boy. Will Ren get her? Will she change her ways? Will they do the special mambo? If you're like me these are some of the questions that run through your mind as you watch this movie.
Not having previously seen the original Footloose, I was curious to see this because of Julianne Hough, who has won twice on Dancing with the stars, and is a world champion ballroom dancer. Kenny Wormald I had not heard of before. He has danced professionally with some of the world's top entertainers such as Justin Timberlake, and I believe Mariah Carey. I found his performance in his first leading role engaging, and clearly he has amazing dance skills. Somewhat to my surprise I was impressed by the acting performance of Julianne Hough, she delivers in the several great emotional scenes this movie offers, particularly when she gets slapped. I knew she could dance, and I did not recognise her in Burlesque, because she wore a brunette wig, but I think she could have a decent career as a leading movie actress. Beyond her obvious appeal, she has some depth.
In some respects this is better than the original, particularly the storytelling, which includes the inciting incident of the accident at the beginning, and some of the dancing particularly by Kenny Wormald and others were very good. What surprised me given the talent of Hough is that she was underused in a dancing capacity, and had no solo to speak of.
In some respects the original is better, particularly the depth of acting talent, which includes well known actors such as John Lithgow, and Dianne Wiest, as the preacher and his wife, whose characters were three dimensional, Kevin Bacon, of course, Sarah Jessica Parker in a supporting role as Ariel's friend, and a scene stealing Christopher Penn, Sean Penn's brother.
The best known actors in the new version are Dennis Quaid, and Angie McDowell, yet somehow the director and screenwriter played down the role of these characters so that they are one dimensional.
I think most people will enjoy both versions, with a new movie updated soundtrack with new artists. I think the remake was worthwhile, because this version will appeal to a new generation that was not even alive when the first movie was made. I think though we are seeing too many remakes this year.
If you want to watch another dance movie, I recommend The The Red Shoes, The (Criterion) [Blu-ray
], one of the greatest dance movies ever made.
I think you will enjoy it and I hope this was helpful.