It's no secret that the critics, and the general public, seem to hate remakes. What usually happens is a director picks a well loved and well known film of the past and decides that one version of it just isn't enough and goes ahead and ruins it with modern gimmicks. Though I have to say, as far as remakes go, Footloose (2011) it definitely one of the better ones.
The storyline is essentially the same at the 1984 original. The film begins with a fatal car crash after a night a dancing and so the father of the driver, Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) persuades the city council of Bomont to enforce a ban on all unsupervised dancing for teenagers under the age of eighteen. Three years later, Ren McCormack moves from Boston to Bomont to live with his aunt and uncle after his mother's death. Ren is immediately attracted to Shaw Moore's rebellious teenage daughter, Ariel; however, she's already dating someone and her father doesn't trust him. As soon as Ren learns about the dancing ban, he makes plans to do away with it so that the senior class can have a real prom and the rest of the story goes from there.
I was slightly confused at the beginning as to what time period this movie was set in. Everything about it, the cars, the clothes, everything suggested that this was set in 80s, but then, BAM, Ren pulls out his iPod classic. Confusing much? I don't actually know how things roll down in the state of Georgia so I can't really say whether or not this is an accurate representation of modern day Georgia, but I would've thought that they could've included more than a simple iPod to suggest the year this was set in.
Personally, I think the dancing scenes in the remake were much more visually effective than the original (though I suppose this was to be expected). They were a lot livelier, there was a lot more colour and the dance sequences were a lot more exciting. The quality of the dancing was truly excellent and there was such precision in each and every move. I think there was a lot less emphasis on Ren's gymnastic background in the new film; however, they more than made up for this with the better dance scenes.
Apart from the confusing beginning, Footloose was a really great film. I was actually quite surprised by this as the two main characters are played by lesser known actors: Julianne Hough and Kenny Wormald. Initially, Zac Efron was pegged for the role of Ren McCormack and after much deliberation (Chace Crawford and Thomas Dekker were also asked to portray Ren), it was revealed that Wormald had secured the role. Ariel's parents, Shaw and Vi Moore, are portrayed by Dennis Quaid and Andie MacDowell, two extremely well known actors.
Clearly the combination of snazzier dance skills and livlier music were the keys to this films success.