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Stars: Dennis Quaid, Julianne Hough, Kenny Wormald, Ray McKinnon, Miles Teller, Patrick John Flueger, Ziah Colon, Ser'Darius William Blain, Mary-Charles Jones

Director: Craig Brewer

It’s been over a quarter of a century since Kevin Bacon achieved stardom opposing miserable minister John Lithgow in 1984’s Footloose. And now, since if there’s anything Hollywood really, really likes, it’s a remake (and of course, sequels) and as remakes go, this easy-to-enjoy, switch-your-brain-to-neutral movie hits the spot.

And, possibly, it could make a star of Wormald. Wormald, who trained as a dancer, has enough charm to take on the role of the Bostonian who ends up experiencing culture-shock when he moves to a small Southern town. The core of the story is the same: after a fatal accident resulting in the death of five teenagers after a night out, the council – encouraged by Reverend Quaid – imposes a ban on dancing. Which, of course, Wormald succeeds in breaking, winning the heart of Quaid’s troubled daughter Hough in the process…

It’s a film for filmgoers, not cineastes and, as such, it pushes all the right buttons. Wormald and Hough are credible on and off the dance floor. Quaid and Andie McDowell do what they need to do in their key adult roles, the choreography has been slickly updated and the multiracial cast is unpretentiously integrated into a story that still works well, in particular for those cinemagoers who haven’t seen the original.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour.
113 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 14 Oct 2011