Monday, 10 October 2011

Film Review: "Footloose" (2011).

The film's tagline reads "There comes a time to cut loose", and everything does go loose in Footloose. This musical dance film directed by Craig Brewer. It is a remake of the 1984 film of the same name. The film follows a young man who moves from Boston to a small southern town and protests the town's ban against dancing.

In October 2008, Kenny Ortega was announced as director but left the project a year later after differences with Paramount and the production budget. Peter Sollett was also hired to write the script. Dylan Sellers, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan served as producer; Zadan having produced the original Footloose. In 2010, Craig Brewercame on to re-write the script after Crawford and Ortega left the project and also served as director. The writer of the original film, Dean Pitchford, also co-wrote the screenplay. In July 2007, Zac Efron was cast as Ren McCormack, but he left the project in March 2009. Two months later, it was reported that Chace Crawford would replace Efron, but he later had to back out due to scheduling conflicts. Thomas Dekker was a "top candidate" for the role but in June 2010, Entertainment Weekly reported that Kenny Wormald had secured the lead role as McCormack. Former Dancing with the Stars ballroom-dance professional Julianne Hough was cast as Ariel, Dennis Quaid as Reverend Shaw Moore, and Miles Teller as Willard Hewitt. In August 2010, Andie MacDowell joined the cast as Quaid's wife. During an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Kevin Bacon said he declined a cameo appearance in the film as he did not like the role he was offered. The role was playing Ren McCormack's deadbeat dad. Though Bacon passed on the role, he gave Brewer his blessing. Unlike the original, set in the fictional town of Bomont, Utah, the remake is set in fictional Bomont, Georgia. On a budget of $24 million, principal photographybegan in September 2010 in and around metro Atlanta, and wrapped two months later in November.

The film stars Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, Andie McDowell, Miles Teller and Kim Dickens. Despite not living up to the performances of the original cast, the cast in this film brought their own unique sensibilities to the roles that update them for a modern audience.

A lot of craft and slickness lurks beneath the modern sexy choreography in Footloose. The point, however, is not the plot but the energy. Without somebody like Kenny Wormald at the heart of the movie, it might fall flat, but everybody works at his level of edginess. This film is a little less innocent than what Herbert Ross would have made it. It is one of the most entertaining movie adaptation of a stage musical so far. The movie is a great big sloppy kiss of entertainment for audiences weary of explosions, CGI effects and sequels, sequels, sequels. However it's intermittently tasty, if a little too frantically eager to please. Despite its edginess, this version stays remarkably true to the spirit of the original.

Simon says Footloose receives:

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