I will admit I was super excited when I heard “Footloose” was going to be remade; not that there is anything wrong with the original. I was even more excited when I learned that Kenny Ortega, director of “This Is It” and the “High School Musical” trilogy, would be directing it and Zac Efron would play the role of Ren.
But then, not long after the announcement of the movie remake was made, the lead role changed at least one more time before the final actor was chosen. No matter who ended up with the role, they had big shoes to fill.
After viewing the movie trailer, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the modern approach that Ortega decided to take on the small town. Then, watching the movie, I felt like some scenes in the movie were still taking place in the ‘80’s and others were trying to modernize a small town too much, but I guess that’s what you get when you mix a boy from Boston with a small town.
There were some things I thought were good, or maybe even better than the original movie. But, there were also some down points.
The story of “Footloose” was told well in this new version. I think Dennis Quaid did a great performance as Rev. Shaw Moore and Julianne Hough was more attractive as the leading lady and love interest than the original played by Lori Singer. Hough’s body, however, was marketed more than I would have really cared for but she’s a dancer and I understand. Miles Teller and Ziah Colon portrayed their characters really well too and it’s always great hearing Andie MacDowell’s voice.
While I can’t say that Wormald made the character better than Kevin Bacon, I can say that he did a great job and came close to living up to the expectations and even made the character his own with a stronger northern accent. But, I digress.
As for the comparisons of movie scenes, the epic dance montage was lacking. I will 100 percent blame it on the song choice. I’m not sure what the musical director was going for with the cotton mill dance scene. The moves were strong and even played off of the original, but the song just didn’t work. You’ll know what I mean when you hear it.
One thing that is really disappointing in this remake was the chicken/race scene. In the original, Ren and Chuck, Ariel’s boyfriend, play chicken on tractors but not in the remake. For some reason, the big man contest was a race…in old school buses. But, that’s not all. There were two other unknown characters, not in the original, who were also racing and they were all on a dirt track. I would have just stuck with tractors. There were too many scenes involving Chuck.
Aside from the bus race, the big dance breakout at the diner had a cool modern twist, making it stand out from the original. I did think the whole thing with Ariel’s father randomly showing up to give her money was a little strange, but the scene had to conclude somehow. Let’s be real, the rules and laws about dancing would not really exist if it were real life.
The montage of shots where Ren is teaching Williard to dance was great. I can’t express how much I enjoyed Williard’s character in this movie. He really lived up to Chris Penn.
The final scene, the prom, was not as big of a deal as in the original, which was disappointing considering the movie’s main title song was playing (kudos, Blake Shelton). The fight before the prom was unnecessary, the outfits were a little silly, and the dances lacked.
Speaking back to the soundtrack, it was great how Ortega included covers of “Holding Out For A Hero,” “Almost Paradise,” and “Let’s Hear It For The Boy.” Nice touch.
Overall, the movie is very decent and worth the DVD rental. See for yourself and tweet us at @MSUNewsFeatures with your consensus.