Footloose (2011) review

Check out our review of Footloose - the 2011 remake of the Kevin Bacon original that is not quite as good in every way


Footloose (2011)

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid

Release date: 2011

3 out of 5


Twenty-seven years ago, a then-unknown Kevin Bacon sashayed across the screen to the rocking vocals of Kenny Loggins, and now kitsch classic Footloose gets a remake courtesy of MTV. The story – and even some of the actual dialogue – remains pretty much the same: brooding young hunk Ren (Wormald) arrives in smalltown Bomont and discovers that there is a town ban on public dancing following the death of a group of kids who were driving home after a party where they had enjoyed drinking and some fancy footwork. It’s not long before Ren has run foul of the local Reverend (Quaid) for playing loud music and, even worse, making googly eyes at the Rev’s daughter, Ariel (Hough). Uh oh, looks like poor Ren is in trouble, and all he wants to do is dance…

Anyone who remembers – and secretly loves – the original will gnash their teeth at some of the scenes that are almost shot-for-shot remakes (yet not as good), from the prom finale to the montage as Ren’s friend Willard (Teller) learns to dance. In fact, the movie is so similar in places – right down to Ren’s car and choice of first-day-of-school tie – that you wonder why they remade it at all, since it has hardly been updated for kids today (only the fleeting presence of an iPod and a mobile phone hints it’s even set in the 21st century).

Luckily, some of the performances are fun and the new versions of songs like ‘Footloose’, ‘Holding Out For A Hero’ and ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’ are fine, too. Wormald, whose only facial expression seems to be to pout his lips, is certainly no Kevin Bacon, but at least he’s a terrific dancer, and Miley Cyrus-lookalike Hough is a marked improvement on Lori Singer’s vacant Ariel from the original movie. Teller, meanwhile, is cute and almost as believably awkward on his feet as Chris Penn was all those years ago, and while anyone over the age of 20 would be better off catching the 1984 version, for a new generation this fluffy movie may well lead to some kicking off of those Sunday shoes…

Is Footloose (2011) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

None. Do note that this movie is aimed at teenagers – there are a few fights, one female character is physically hurt by her ex-boyfriend and (shock!) the word ‘virgin’ is also uttered.

If you like this, why not try: Footloose 1984, Grease, High School Musical, Pump Up The Volume, Rebel Without A Cause,