There’s a lot of nostalgic goodwill for the 1984 teen dance drama Footloose, much of which may arise from the fact that people haven’t actually seen the movie in decades. Let’s be honest: It’s a groan-worthy cheese-fest, and Craig Brewer’s new remake captures that spirit by being at least as cheesy, and sometimes more so.
Brewer is so faithful to the original, about a small town that bans public dancing and the teenage rebel (Kevin Bacon then, newcomer Kenny Wormald now) who dares to challenge the law, that it’s almost like watching the same movie twice. Scenes, songs, costumes, shot compositions and lines of dialogue are all replicated exactly, with minimal nods to modern convention.
Set in Georgia, it’s a sanitized version of the gritty Southern storytelling of Brewer’s previous two movies (Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan), and while there’s definite energy in the dance sequences, the hokum outweighs the exuberance.