Footloose Stays On Beat

There is truly something captivating about youth fighting for the right to express their beliefs. One of the most impressive aspects of the remake of the 1984 classic Footloose is the passion and conviction captured by the characters. While it bears similarities to the original, director Craig Brewer creates an atmosphere of high energy and manages to keep the story fresh for a new generation.

After a wild night of drinking, dancing and loud music, a group of local teenagers were killed in a car accident. Because of the accident, the town of Beaumont banned those activities.

Among those killed was the only son of Reverend Shaw Moore, the leader of the town and
father to Ariel (Julianne Hough,) who is the film’s leading lady. The cause of the dancing ban in the original film are that “music and dancing lead to flaming sin,” yet this time around, the ban is put into place more so to protect the children.

Three years later, Ren (Kenny Wormald,) an outsider from Boston, begins a new life in the small town and shakes things up. When Ren gets arrested for blasting music from his car’s radio, he begins a movement to petition the council to allow dancing in public again.

The core idea of the movie is not different from its predecessor, but some changes have been made to update the feature. Most notable are the levels of drama and the appearance of how deeply the community is hurt by the tragic car accident, adding a more serious element to the movie.

In comparison to the original Footloose, it is striking just how dismissive the plot is toward religion.  The 2011 version is more understanding of the town’s religious views and works more to clear the lines between church and state. For example, Rev. Moore is more of a concerned parent and less of a strict religious figure in this film.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Footloose is that it shows an unusual kind of American. Ren, an atheist from the city who questions the blurring line between church and state, stands up to the adults and inspires his peers to make their voices heard through the political process.

The film relates to the present well; the ban is on the loud sounds we hear from passing cars and the highly suggestive dance moves seen at parties today that are highly frowned upon by baby boomers. The dancing in the new film is more suggestive, graphic and sensual. It has even received critiques for its PG-13 rating yet, it is also unexpectedly innocent.

Footloose is a retelling of the forefront of social issues of today, with an even balance of the views of both parents and teens. Footloose delivers a fun, endearing, and surprisingly genuine film. The energy, music, and choreography of today with an everlasting message from the past come together to create a must see film for both the young and old.