The struggle between innocence and rigid morality is revisited when city-boy Ren finds himself in an uptight town where dancing has been banned. Filled with contemporary music and iconic classics from the original, this fresh look on youth culture is sure to win fans of young and old.
Can you believe there are small towns in America that ban dancing? At least two: the Utah burg from 1984's Footloose, and the Georgia town in 2011's Footloose. Except for the location, not much has changed between movies--in fact, this remake sticks so loyally to the original that it even imports a batch of songs from the first movie. That's right: not only will you get a couple of takes on the title tune, but quintessentially '80s songs such as "Let's Hear It for the Boy" and "Almost Paradise" also come shuffling along. Once again the saga follows a big-city teen (played here by dancer Kenny Wormald) who takes the outsider role in his new home, where the local minister (Dennis Quaid) and the town council have decreed a strict curfew at night and a prohibition on the evils of rock and roll. But our boy has gotta dance, and so does the preacher's naughty daughter (a tasty performance from Dancing with the Stars regular Julianne Hough). You'll know exactly where all this is headed even if you didn't see the Kevin Bacon version, and the movie offers up some of the same sort of fun, especially the dancing. Director Craig Brewer, who adapted lyricist Dean Pitchford's original screenplay, finds some nice moments with the young actors, and Miles Teller (who gave a touching performance in Rabbit Hole) is well and truly launched with his role as the hero's clumsy-footed pal. What doesn't scan is Brewer's insistence on re-creating scenes right down to duplicating certain iconic shots. Maybe this will work for the alleged "new generation" of moviegoers that remakes like this are intended for, but for everybody else, it will all be a little too familiar. --Robert Horton