Thursday, November 3, 2011

Movie Review: Footloose

I have been looking forward to seeing this movie since I saw the first trailer at the beginning of the summer if for no other reason than morbid curiousity.  The original Footloose was one of the first movies I remember seeing (I was maybe five) and I have loved it ever since.  I was ready to hate the new version if it wasn't respectful of the "real" one.  Thankfully, I had no reason to be concerned. 

Judged on its own merits the Footloose reboot was a good movie, but judged against the original it holds up just as well, which was a pleasant surprise.  Kenny Wormald was a good fit for Ren, better even than some of the previous candidates might have been (Zac Efron and Chace Crawford were both attached to the role at one point).  And while I doubted that a Footloose without the guiding hand of original choreographer, Kenny Ortega (who was set to helm the reboot), would work, it did.  Julianne Hough was sweetly vulnerable as good-girl-goes bad, Ariel, proving that she might just be as good of an actress as she is a dancer.  Dennis Quaid, while much more aesthetically pleasing than John Ligthgow, also holds his own as Rev. Shaw Moore.

They did update the plot a little (they now race school buses instead of tractors), and they altered a few of the scenes, but overall the reboot is simply a homage to the original's finer moments.  Ren still dances away his rage in unnecessary, choreographed perfection.  Ariel still has red boots and a penchant for rebellion after the death of her brother.  They drop some of the discussion of censorship that the original touched on and the dancing is a little more, shall we say, intense.  It's obvious that this one is intended to be a little more of a romp than its predecessor, and it's so much fun that you don't even mind.  I give it four out of four completely arbitrary stars!  (But look, so did Entertainment Weekly!  And check out the Rotten Tomatoes score here.)

My favorite moment from the new movie was actually musical in nature.  During a scene, a song started to play, and my sister and I immediately looked at each other and asked, "Who is that?"  Ella Mae Bowen's cover of "Holding Out For A Hero" is outstanding, and I willingly paid $10.99 for the soundtrack on iTunes just so I could have that song.  It is slow and aching and just beautiful.  The rest of the soundtrack isn't much to write home about, but you should definitely check out this song!


  1. J & I went to see this movie last weekend and it was amazing! I thought it paid perfect homage to the original, but it stood on its own as well. the thing I did want to see was a hip hop footloose so I'm so glad it stuck to its country roots.

    and willard made the movie for me!

  2. He was just the cutest thing, wasn't he? I love the role of Willard, maybe because I know some real-life ones, and he played it so well.


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