Time Out called 1984’s Footloose ‘a cynical and manipulative exercise with little feel for the teen culture it purports to celebrate.’ If you agree, you’ll probably feel the same about this remake. But if you found the original a toe-tapping guilty pleasure, you may find this surprisingly enjoyable.
The likeable and relatively unknown Kenny Wormald steps into Kevin Bacon’s shoes as Ren, the citified rebel who moves to a town in which dancing has been banned for under-18s. Meanwhile, a tight-jeaned Julianne Hough is Ariel, daughter of the strict but well-meaning Rev Moore (Dennis Quaid). While broadly faithful to the original, it’s a more multi-racial affair with street dance alongside line dancing, all well performed to an infectious soundtrack. The plot may be straightforward but it’s refreshing to see a modern dance film that tackles religion and local law alongside forbidden romance. And if this Footloose happens to shake up the trend of formulaic contemporary dance movies, then amen to that.