The promotion for this film has been massive on MTVs front. With all the hype, naturally anyone would have some fairly high expectations—but you shouldn’t.
Footloose begins with main character Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) moving in with his aunt and uncle from Boston after his mom passes away from Leukemia. Ariel (Julianne Hough), the pastor’s daughter, catches his eye. Though he soon learns she has a rebellious nature, which stems from her brother and three of his friends dying in a car crash after leaving a party. The latter events led to the town outlawing public dancing and many other ridiculous laws which involve loud music. Ren gains an unlikely friend in Willard played by Miles Teller. Ren with the support of his friends and family challenges the law. You can guess the rest easily from here.
Footloose almost entirely mirrors the original with only some changes for the modern era. However, we are talking about a remake of a classic which is nearly impossible to outdo or even match. So for that purpose, I’m not going to compare the two any further. Wormald is a refreshing choice for the lead and he handles it very well, but he can’t hold the movie together on his own and Hough is no help. I expected more from her, but her acting was void of any true emotion. She’s a professional dancer and casting her as a lead in a film was too much of a stretch. Don’t get me started on her singing as she contributes to the films soundtrack. The unlikely scene stealer turned out to be Miles Teller (Willard). He was a delight to watch and his humor kept you in tune with the film. He was to Footloose what Anna Kendrick was to Twilight. You wanted to see what he would do or say next.
The film is based on dancing, but I felt I saw more dancing in Burlesque than I saw in Footloose. The scenes that did have dancing were usually short and with too many camera movements. I wanted to be able to see all of the dancers doing the choreography. Not some flashes of footwork, then Hough’s ass and then some random characters smiling and having a good time.
Footloose lacked the pizzazz I was hoping for. I would compare it to an ABC Family movie that gives you some good laughs and enough entertainment for two hours of your time. But if you’re looking for the next dance movie this isn’t it. You’re better off with the Step Up movies (preferably the second one). This also isn’t the best movie for little ones as there are a couple of questionable scenes. If you have time to kill and you’re not looking for anything life changing then give Footloose a try. It’s not amazing, but it’s not terribly awful either.