‘Footloose’ pays tribute to the original

Valerie Banks, AP Lit Set 2

It has been 27 years since anyone has seen Ren McCormack and Ariel Moore on the big screen. The hit couple, originally played by Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer, has taken on a new persona through the actors Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough that creates a great rendition of the original film Footloose that rightfully resembles numerous aspects of the 1987 classic.

The original plot stays the same, a city boy forced to move to his aunt and uncle’s  house in the small farm city of Bomont. Tension arises as the boy, Ren, comes into conflict with many of the laws especially the law against any youthful public dancing. He falls for the preacher’s daughter, Ariel, whose father is against any form of dancing and Ren’s rebellious ways.

The similarities between the 1987 and 2011 films are innumerable; Ariel’s red boots, Ren’s red tuxedo, the yellow Volkswagen, and the music of the movie that became so popular in the 80’s. Even complete scenes and dialogue between the characters are identical. The main principles of love, teen rebellion, and just plain fun are also still strongly present in the movie.

The resemblance between the characters is astonishing and the acting is great, especially for two teenagers (one of whom is a professional dancer who just began acting.) Kenny Wormald took Kevin Bacon’s role by storm and embodied everything Ren McCormack stands for and how he acts. Wormald’s accent, demeanor, and dancing are almost identical to Kevin Bacon’s.

Similarly, Julianne Hough portrays Ariel Moore with the equal spunk, attitude, and spirit as Lori Singer did. The collaboration of the old director, Dean Pitchford, with the new one, Craig Brewer greatly influenced how the actors performed and the similarities between the main characters.

The music and scene selection play an important role in the remake, just as it did in the 1984 classic. The opening and ending song “Footloose” stays the same to go along with the opening scene, which zooms into different shoes dancing in different styles. The opening scene is a lasting memory of the original movie and was essential for the directors to keep if they wanted to portray the same spirit of the 1987 Footloose. Also, remakes of the popular songs of the 80’s, such as “Holding Out for a Hero,” “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” and “Almost Paradise” contribute to the resemblance of the new movie with the old.

Most of the differences between the two movies are just little tweaks to let the movie appeal to today’s generation, including tighter clothes, faster music, and races with buses instead of trackers. The one controversial change in the 2011 version is the scene with the tragic car crash. The 1984 version only alluded to the crash and never actually showed it.

The dancing between the characters is the same, but the style differs, with the 2011 Footloose using more dancing and with a much sexier feel. With Julianne Hough coming from a dancing background and Kenny Wormald not being a half-bad dancer, the dancing shines through in this movie. The dance scenes become the biggest and most enjoyable scenes in the movie. Adapting to the current generation’s dancing style makes the remake more enjoyable and easier for teens to enjoy.

When the directors announced the remake of Footloose, no one knew what to expect. Many anticipated a cheesy remake that would rate two stars and generate little money. They were entirely wrong. This box office hit definitely delivered earning five stars. The movie combined the right amount of the original film with the right amount of new and current pop culture in order to make the audience leave the movie theater smiling.

Footloose will take older viewers back to their teen years when the movie first came out and will invite a whole new generation of teenagers to love this old classic.