Movies , Drama
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The need to cut loose remains the same; only the feet have changed. Look, we're not talking about a remake of The Rules of the Game here. The original 1984 teen drama was a tasty slab of Reagan-era Velveeta, best known for its supercatchy Kenny Loggins theme song (twang-warbled by country singer Blake Shelton here) and Kevin Bacon's I'm-so-angry-I-could-do-gymnastics! interpretive boogie in an empty warehouse. But it was cheese nonetheless, and no matter how many nods this movie gives to today's youth demographics---here's a hip-hop sequence for the urban kids and a boot-scooting line dance for Middle America's country-pop-lovin' mall rats!---it's still just the same story of a moody dude (Wormald) fighting the Man (Quaid) for the right to moonwalk. Your only option is to spice up the narrative fondue.

Thankfully, both the director and his star do exactly that. Despite a few slavish homages to the first film, Craig Brewer adds a sense of regional specificity that makes the movie feel unique among multiplex fare; this Footloose takes place in the same authentic, sweaty, lived-in South as his Hustle & Flow (2005) and Black Snake Moan (2006). And Wormald, to his credit, is less interested in bringing home the Bacon than channeling James Dean and Gene Kelly, helped immensely by the fact that he's a charismatic, real-life hoofer who gives good emo-glare. Suffering through flatlining romantic and dramatic interludes isn't any less painful now than it was in '84, but when this musical occasionally kicks off its Sunday shoes, the dynamic memory-lane trip actually approaches---Kevin help us!---something resembling genuine fun.

Follow David Fear on Twitter: @davidlfear

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Release details

Rated: PG-13
Release date: Friday October 14 2011
Duration: 113 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Craig Brewer
Cast: Kenny Morrison
Julianne Moore
Dennis Quaid