Thursday, 13 October 2011

New Release - Footloose

Being born in 1987, I was far too late to latch on to the cheesy brilliance of the original Footloose, but after watching it recently, I found myself succumbing to its charms and would definitely class it as a guilty pleasure. The ridiculous storyline follows the arrival of a new teen in Bomont, and his discovery that due to a horrific car crash a few years ago, dancing has been completely banned. It is not long before he drums up support from his peers in order to turn this law around, resulting in excessive amounts of dancing from all involved.

Bearing in mind that the remake of Footloose is not a film I would usually watch I was pleasantly surprised with the film's direction, whilst some scenes were almost identical to those featured in the 1984 version, there is enough new material to make it relevant to today's generation without straying too far from the storyline in the original.

Kenny Wormald was fairly watchable as Ren McCormack, and whilst his appearance reminded me more of Johnny Depp in Cry Baby than Kevin Bacon's previous interpretation of the character, he provided Ren with enough charisma to keep the audience routing for him. Willard is played brilliantly by Miles Teller who has a fantastic comic timing and deserves to go on to much greater things. Although he had a lot to live up to stepping in the late Chris Penn's shoes, he somehow manages to improve on the original role by channeling what I can only describe as the characteristics of everyone's favourite horror rednecks,Tucker and Dale, into Willard - a naive innocence that shines in his key scenes.

A big disappointment with this remake is the soundtrack, and whilst the majority of everyone's favourite songs make a return, a large number of them are remixed or rehashed into almost unrecognisable melodies. I was pleasantly surprised  to hear a Smashing Pumpkins song make an appearance - Billy Corgan must be losing the plot if he's allowing his songs to be used for a Footloose remake - but that was the only redeeming feature of the soundtrack, with the decision to alter Bonnie Tyler's classic being a huge disappointment.

Fans of the original will be well aware of the scene involving a certain Bonnie Tyler song, which for me transcended pure cheese to become an utterly ridiculous yet somehow brilliant moment in the film. Unfortunately, whilst we still have a head to head between Ren and Chuck as they fight for the affections of a young lady,  it has been altered for a modern audience, and the lack of an adrenaline fuelled game of Tractor Chicken certainly hampered my enjoyment of the remake.

It's not going to win awards, and it's not going to impress fans of the original, but this remake of Footloose is not entirely pointless. Younger generations are bound to latch on to the charismatic characters and frenetic dance moves which I only hope will lead them to seek out the charms of the 1984 version. Everyone else should probably steer clear.



6/10

If you like this, you will love these:

Footloose (1984)
Pump Up The Volume
Grease
American Graffiti