.
footloose ren ariel

Footloose

Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid

Directed by Craig Brewer
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
October 13, 2011

There are cellphones and iPads and a more integrated cast in this reboot of 1984's Footloose. Otherwise, it's hard to tell the difference, so misguidedly beholding is director Craig Brewer to the original. The old Footloose is best remembered as a breakthrough for Kevin Bacon (I'd pick Diner, which came two years before) as a smartass Chicago kid who brings dirty dancing to a Christian small town that's outlawed rock & roll as the devil's music.

Newcomer Kenny Wormald, who's danced backup for Justin Timberlake, steps into the Bacon role as Ren McCormack, now a Boston homey relocated to a Tennessee backwater where the local Rev. (Dennis Quaid, on rectitude overdrive) has banned dancing after four students died in a postprom car crash. Ren just has to rebel, which he does with the help of the Rev's maverick daughter Ariel (Dancing With the Stars hottie Julianne Hough) and flat-footed buddy Willard (scene-stealer Miles Teller). This High School Musical stuff de-balls the from-the-crotch heat you expect from Brewer, who unleashed Hustle and Flow. And the updates on the original's soundtrack hits – Blake Shelton in for Kenny Loggins on the title song, karaoke kids taking on Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It for the Boy" – barely register.

Unlike Bacon, who had a double, Wormald does Ren's angry dance himself in an abandoned warehouse. But Wormald is not the actor Bacon is. This crimps his chemistry with Hough, who has the indefinable spark that indicates star potential. Footloose 2011 is harmless as far as it goes, but on the dance floor and off it never goes nearly far enough.

Related
Video: Bad Eighties Remakes Hit Theaters
Video: September's Worst Movies Get Tossed in the Scum Bucket
Peter Travers' Fall Movie Preview

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    • Child of God
      star rating
      Well Go USA Entertainment
    • lucy
      star rating
      Universal Pictures
    • star rating
      IFC Films
    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Love Is the Answer”

    Utopia | 1977

    The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com