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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Footloose - Review (2011)

Having never seen the original film I had one advantage over most viewers, I could not be upset by the changes from the Kevin Bacon film.  Going in I knew one thing, the premise sounded stupid - a town that outlaws dancing.  Sounds realistic.  Once you get past the setup it is your basic general audience film - you know all the characters before they are introduced and exactly how it is going to end before the quarter mark.  It plays like many of the films from the era of the original - which, in a way, is not a bad thing.  Sure it has all the complexity of a Fluff sandwich, but it works because everything else is so preposterous.  The most glaring fallacy is the town itself - towns like this only exist in fiction.  Everyone hangs out together - there is harmony throughout, except the evil ex-boyfriend and his posse (of course.)  Besides that it is as normal as your town... oh yeah, except the fact that everybody happens to be a pro dancer.

The ironic part about this film is the most oft-putting element was the dancing.  It is an understatement to say it was over choreographed to the point of feeling completely artificial.  There is not one teenager in the bunch that stands there and awkwardly claps his hands while stepping side to side due to his complete lack of rhythm or leans on the wall and dreams of what it would be like if he actually could dance with the girl he had his eye on.  Instead, every guy has a girl and they dance like a member of a dance troupe.  These kids live and breath dancing - it dominates just about every discussion and activity in their lives.  When the music turns on they cannot control themselves - it is popping and locking, heads spins, impromptu line dances and grinding.  These are the best dancers I have seen; every football player, preacher's daughter, new-guy-in-town, has all the right moves.  And best of all, every resident under the age of 19 shares one communal brain that allows them to dance in and out of choreographed dances at the turn of the hat.  Did I mention, there are no overweight people either.  If you can dance you are your ideal weight or less.  An incredible town.  More like something out of The Twilight Zone.

This is not a bad movie - it is just mindless entertainment.  It does not fit in the so bad it's good category either, rather it is just good enough to not turn off the viewers or create any die hard fans.  Another nice touch is including a soundtrack full of classic 80's music (I personally would have preferred some of the original artists though.)  As for Julianne Hough, she is surprisingly good - she is natural on screen and looks great on film.  If she can latch on to a successful film (Rock of Ages wasn't it either) she will be around for awhile.

Don't want to spoil anything, but I must mention incredibly bizarre warehouse freakout/spontaneous dance/gymnastics meltdown.  If anyone acted this way in real life the discovery of such behavior would end in a straight jacket or at the very least a daily dose of sedatives.  6 out of 10

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