Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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Footloose (2011)

Film #175


City teenager Ren McCormack moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.

Year 1, Day 172: Movie #175

BEFORE: One version of Footloose down, one to go. After quite a surprising result (read: entertaining) from the 1984 original, I will be watching the 2011 remake to give my two cents. As I noted in my conclusion of the last review, I’m curious to see whether this remake will be more like Bad News Bears, which was a travesty compared to the original The Bad News Bears, or will it be more like the Coen brothers’ 2010 remake of True Grit which honored the original but did some things differently.

AFTER: To say this 2011 remake of Footloose was a shot-for-shot remake wouldn’t be entirely correct; just mostly. Besides a few tweaks here and there to modernize the story and rearrange some scenes and character’s backgrounds, the film was almost exactly the same - right down to the dialogue which I could recite along with the people talking.

The few areas where the film did change, it did so for the worse. The original took place in the 1980s, where while it still seems ridiculous to outlaw dancing, at least seems plausible given the time period and you go along with the idea because it’s the whole premise of the film. But for the same thing to happen in 2011 does not seem plausible at all. No matter how old fashioned or conservative the parents of Bomont, banning public dancing and lude music just doesn’t make sense especially considering that the parents would have been the rebellious teenagers from the original film with the time difference.

And then there are the many things that did not change about the film including the dialogue, the actions, and the characters. Sure there are some differences like Ren (Kenny Wormald) being from Boston instead of Chicago (one of the better changes - you get to hear a Boston accent for the entire film) and the game of chicken being a race between busses instead of tractors (although there still is a tractor in that scene). But, for the most part, everything the characters say and do (i.e. Ren letting off steam, the car wash, and the important town council meeting scenes) is almost a direct copy of the original film. As for the characters, I had major complaints about Ariel Moore (Julianne Hough in the remake) and her mother Vi (Andie MacDowell in the remake). For the most part, Ariel was a big improvement from the original but Vi’s character actually was much worse. Again Vi plays the important role of helping convince her husband Reverend Moore (Dennis Quaid) to change his mind about the dancing law but this time she only has two speaking scenes compared to a whopping five or six in the original. One is the town council meeting where she says a whole one line, and the other is her big scene trying to change her husband’s mind. But that’s it, she comes and goes as if she’s a ghost floating through walls.

Do yourself a favor and watch the original 1984 version of Footloose and not this 2011 remake of the same name. The 1984 version, while still flawed, was still entertaining for the most part. This remake tried to modernize the film but really didn’t change that much and the changes they did make were only for the worse. That being said, this film wasn’t completely unwatchable so if you do feel compelled to watch it, you won’t be clawing your eyes out afterward.

RATING: 2 out of 5