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  • 12A
  • Musical, Teen
  • 2011




New teen in town Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) can't believe it when he finds out dancing is forbidden, and vows to get the ban lifted. Remake of the 1984 Kevin Bacon movie


Loose, footloose, kick off your Sunday shoes
Please, Louise, pull me off a my knees
Jack, get back, c'mon before we crack
Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose

So sang Kenny Loggins on the 1984 movies memorable soundtrack. Dont even try to pretend youre not singing it already in your head. This remake does its best to preserve the toe-tapping flavour of the original while stirring some MTV-inflected dance moves into the mix. In the lighter scenes it succeeds in aping what was good about the original, but sometimes takes a tumble when attempting to make the darker scenes feel dramatically valid.

Tonally the film is a little haphazard. One minute, were enjoying a charming montage of Willard (Miles Teller) trying to teach his two left feet how to dance. The next minute the stern preacher (Dennis Quaid) is slapping his wayward daughter around the face right after shes just been beaten up by her boyfriend. Its like someones spliced a couple of minutes of domestic abuse drama into Step Up 2 The Streets. Of course, the slap is taken from the original, but the order of events have been shuffled such that its now a case of Who did this to you? Tell me! Im not a virgin, daddy. SMACK!

Although pro-dancer Kenny Wormald (MTVs Dancelife) is perfectly pleasant in the Kevin Bacon role as bad (but actually incredible wholesome) boy Ren McCormack, hes slightly hamstrung by the simple fact of the passing years. Perhaps in 1984 we could believe that a disgruntled rebel teen would storm to the nearest warehouse to do some angry dancing when things dont go his way, but seeing the moment recreated in 2011 reminds us just how daft it really is. Its actually his sidekick Teller (who you may remember from Rabbit Hole) who manages to be the best thing in the film, no mean feat given the role was rewritten from scratch specifically for Chris Penn in the original.

Cast & Connections

  • Director: Craig Brewer

In a nutshell

If you haven't seen the original and are happy to ignore some of the more mad script decisions, you might get a kick out of it, but otherwise, youre better off re-watching the movie that started it all.

by Catherine Bray

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