The movie “Dance Flick” spoofed cliché teen dance movies and recently released “Footloose,” though better than other dance movies, is a definite candidate for “Dance Flick’s” sequel.
“Footloose,” directed by Craig Brewer, is a remake of a 1984 movie of the same name and stars Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid.
Set in Bomont, Ga., the middle of the Bible Belt, the movie follows Ren MacCormack (Wormald) who moves from Boston to live with his aunt, uncle and two cousins after the death of his mother. The town had suffered a terrible blow five years previously when five of their brightest students died in a car crash. The aftermath resulted in laws banning most music and dancing and establishing a curfew.
In steps Ren, a gymnast who plays his music too loud and has the idea of hosting an independent dance in Bomont. Enter Ariel Moore (Hough), Reverend Shaw Moore’s (Quaid) rebellious daughter. The viewer can predict the end for these two, just as in so many other movies.
Ariel is the typical rebellious teenage girl and does little to engender any sympathy in the first half of the movie, which is an eye-rolling level of cheesy.
She develops some depth in the second half of the movie but is overshadowed by other, more loveable characters.
One of these is Willard, played by Miles Teller. Willard befriends Ren on the first day of school and the two develop an entertaining friendship filled with witty banter and open honesty. One of the most adorable montages of the movie is that of musically-challenged Willard learning to dance.
What wasn’t as appealing was Ren’s teenage angst-releasing gymnastics-hybridized dancing montage. It wasn’t bad, just slightly awkward. He pulls out his angry dance moves, yells at people not present who rubbed him the wrong way and messes around with a chain while occasionally pulling out a random ballet move. It is several minutes of a very free-form style of dancing, the primary function of which seems to be to work in close-ups of Ren’s sweaty body.
For those of the younger generation who haven’t seen the original, “Footloose” will be an entertaining movie that is definitely better in the second half than in the first. Those who have seen the original, though, may experience an extended case of déjà vu. The 2011 release of “Footloose” is nearly a carbon copy of the 1984 “Footloose.” Only minor story and dialogue changes exist between the two.
This similarity extends all the way to specific shots and camera angles. This can be taken in two ways. One, it makes for an extremely unoriginal but relatively easy-to-produce movie. Or two, it is a tribute to the original with only a few minor adjustments required to make it relevant to people today. The 2011 “Footloose” is one of the latter.
Reach reviewer Jordan Foye at Jordan.Foye@usd.edu