DIR: Craig Brewer • WRI: Dean Pitchford, Craig Brewer • PRO: Patrick Rofoli, Dylan Sellers, Brad Weston, Craig Zadan, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Timothy M. Bourne, Neil Meron • ED: Billy Fox • DOP: Amy Vincent • DES: Jon Gary Steele • CAST: Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid
Craig Brewer was a perfect choice for the remake of this 1984 classic what with his previous film, the soulful Black Snake Moan, tackling all the same themes as the original – exclusion, social change, the small town mentality and royidin! Unfortunately Brewer decided not to go down that route, and instead turned what should have been an innovative modern interpretation into washy teenage drivel. Footloose would have been more aptly titled: ‘Bring it On: Save the last Step Up’.
Plot-wise, little has changed since the original, Ren McCormack is still a rebellious out-of-towner, this time he was from Boston instead of Chicago. After his move to the small, conservative country town of Bomont, Ren quickly makes enemies because of his… don, don, DON: Loud music (pause for gasps). After befriending native goofball, Willard, Ren discovers that all dancing has been banned because some local teenagers died in a car accident. Naturally. So now this badboy-with-a-conscious must take on the town council so that his fellow high-schoolers can once again bust-a-move – all the while ‘doing a line’ with the preacher’s wild daughter.
The acting in this film makes the cast of The Room look like Oscar-bait. Between this and his performance in Soul Surfer, Dennis Quaid has earned himself a top spot on my enemies list – yet still remains the best thing about the cast. The ghastly Kenny Wormald (Ren) should have stuck to dancing, as apparently he can only manage two faces: grinning creepily and not grinning. Creepily. There is absolutely no chemistry between him and his co-star, the equally woeful Julianne Hough. In fact there is little prelude to their relationship whatsoever other than some sarcastic banter.
The pretext is ridiculous; in this day and age would anywhere in the Western World really ban dancing? Really? The original movie was set in a different time, echoing civil disturbance and bringing humanity to both sides of the argument with powerhouse performances. All Footloose 2011 appears to do is lamely redeliver dialogue and dip in-and-out of hill-billy stereotypes.
MTV would have been better off putting the 25 million towards Jersey Shore: The Movie. It would have had more class than this.
Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
Footloose is released on 14th October 2011