After all of my griping and arguing of the fact that there was no need for a remake of one of the near perfect films of the 80s,I broke down and used my $ 1.75 movie coupon on the new version of Footloose. After all,it has already been remade on the high school stages of America for years,and the viewer reviews have been so positive that I was curious. I do try to be objective. Much to my irritation,it was not a bad film… I hate being wrong. There have been a few blogger reviewers that drew political differences in the two films and personally I think those lines are invisible. Not that it really matters,that is why we are bloggers-everyone has an opinion.
One blogger apparently had not seen the original in 20 years because he found the new movie to be tailor fit for the conservative family viewers who own all movie producers (in his world) I don’t know but that the last time I checked in with my conservative parents they wouldn’t have been okay with cleavage and sultry dancing. Just saying. It was said that the movies’ center around the death of three teens in a car accident was added for a more agreeable reason for the dance ban to make the Pastor more reasonable,however this was the exact same reason for the ban in the original movie, the only difference is that the new movie opens with that wreck and town council ruling that would occur thereafter. Yet another blogger drew lines that Kenny Wormalds’ version of the main character “Ren” was deliberately written and played to be more masculine so as not to assume he might be gay ….I guess the fact that Kevin Bacons’ version DID indeed get the girl by the end of the story was invalid.
All of that being said I agree with most of the films viewers,in that, the film stays true to the central story. Some of the scenes are identical but most are close. Such as the scene in the church between Reverend Moore and his daughter,Ariel. The altercation and the words “I’m not even a virgin” are exact but some of the dialogue and mannerisms,of course are unique to the actors and this film. This Pastor is more agreeable and this daughter more irritating;however, I found that it was all more cohesive because we see the wreck at the beginning of the film. Ren still reads the passages from the Bible in his argument to end the ban and he still teaches Willard to dance and they to an updated routine at the end of the film which was very entertaining. The scene I just really did not care for was one scene that never occurred in the original and it belongs in Step Up, not Footloose. The infamous parking lot dance scene that nobody liked.It was irritating and raunchy,however, I understand that producers are bringing a classic story to youth who live today. The scene where the group goes to the neighboring town to dance was great as was the ending,but Kevin Bacon will always own that solo warehouse dance scene.
There are ipods and updated music,dress style and a blend of ethnicity in Footloose 2011, and thus an update in most of the dancing.(hence the irritating parking lot scene that should not have been) Some of the rural scenes I could actually relate to,being from small towns and observing different groups growing up. The sneers at the “new kid from Boston”. The confusion on Rens face when certain phrases were used that only a southern country kid would use. The surmounting pressure placed on Ren because of his perceived attitude,which were only his defenses. The preachers daughter. In all honesty, I have known girls who were like Ariel, played by Julianne Hough,who act out to get attention because they lack acceptance at home or have never been given the opportunity to make mistakes and it be okay, unfortunately there are not a lot of real life characters like Ren,who only say “I think you’ve been kissed a lot” and still treat those girls with respect. My favorite character was Willard, played by Miles Teller,who is easily the most memorable in this film, Teller and Wormald almost have more chemistry then Wormald and Hough.
There is more country music in this version,however given the changes in the country music sound in the past two decades, the sound itself really is not that different. John Mellencamp was featured in the original ( Hurt So Good) in the new coinciding scene Big and Rich/ Gretchen Wilson have a song. Aside from that,all of the original songs are featured with new artists giving their spin. the only “cover song” worth the listen is the title song “Footloose” with which Blake Shelton had the honors. In my opinion Blake treated the song with honers and recorded it as if it were his privilege.
I would watch it again,I’m not sure I will add it to my collection. I mean I already have the original and I have always loved and always will love Kevin Bacon. I think that today’s young people need their own time and their own inspirational dance movie-and once a great one has already been made you can only make variations on it….so maybe it is better to make a good remake. A good remake is what 2011s’ Footloose is