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Footloose (2011)

Boston, Massachusetts; home of the Bruins, Fenway Park and Yankee sarcasm. It is also the former home of Ren McCormick (Kenny Wormald). He has moved from Boston to a small town in Georgia to live with his Aunt Lulu Warnicker (Kim Dickens), Uncle Wes Warnicker (Ray McKinnon) and his cousins after his mother’s untimely death. What Ren does not know is that the youth of Bomont, Georgia are raised quite differently than he was in New England. Music, dancing and any gatherings not properly supervised by adults are strictly prohibited and punishable by law. Ren finds himself in an uncomfortable situation as he disagrees with the Bomont way of life. Moreover, trouble follows him around town as he begins to fall for one of the local girls, Ariel (Julianne Hough), who has a rough around the edges boyfriend, Chuck (Patrick John Flueger). Ren tasks himself with setting the town straight and getting the lives back for the many teens which live within its borders. Does he have what it takes to better his life and the lives of those around him?


The problem with remakes of popular films is the fact that they will always be compared to the original. The modern remakes will never be able to stand on their own and are often knocked for a number of reasons in relation to their predecessors. The same criticisms always surface in light of a new remake. Audiences complain that they tried too hard to be exactly like the original and, yet, the opposite is always just as common--audiences complain that remakes veered too far from the original. This film managed to find a nice balance between the two.


Director Craig Brewer kept all of the basic storylines intact from the original and, still, he was able to develop new, witty dialogue that added to the excitement of the film. The music was modernized as a way to lure younger audiences who may be unfamiliar with the plot. While Mark Bright made some less than advisable decisions to change iconic songs like Holding Out for a Hero and Footloose, his decision to include modern hits like Big & Rich’s Fake I.D. and Wiz Khalifa’s Black and Yellow effectively seduced younger audiences as planned. Each of the casting choices were exemplary, particularly Miles Teller (Willard).


Teller’s ability to portray part nerd, part tough guy exceeded expectations. He was the perfect person to replace Chris Penn and truly could not have done a better job. Changing the role of Ren’s uncle was a dramatic and meaningful change. Brewer and Dean Pitchford chose to turn the role on its head and have the uncle regularly side with Ren. As the film progressed, Wes Warnicker’s ability to remain loyal to his family made the entire film more enjoyable. It gave audiences a glimmer of hope for the town and the people in it. He was the perfect juxtaposition to the bulk of the town and gave the town itself some levity. While the film was not as good as the original, it held its own in the world of cinema. Pitchford and Brewer birthed a script that stood on its own and destroyed all preconceived notions of what a reboot can be. 



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