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October 14, 2011

Craig Brewer’s remake of Footloose takes an “if it ain’t broke, just add more backflips” approach to updating the Kevin Bacon sort-of-classic, bringing in some new faces and some flashier moves, but keeping both the essential plot and even a lot of the scenes and signifiers intact. Here newcomer Kenny Wormald (filling in for the initially cast Zac Efron) plays big-city outsider Ren, whose romance with Julianne Hough’s Ariel once again raises the hackles of her preacher daddy Dennis Quaid. All around are even more nods to the original: Ren’s yellow VW Bug, his training montage with Chris Penn-substitute Miles Teller, that silly factory sequence where Ren dance-punches out all his frustrations. Basically the only thing that’s new here is the kind of dancing that’s being performed in clear violation of the Quaid-led ban, which frustrates an entire town of kids who just want to act out the everyday, elaborately choreographed routines they’ve learned from movies like You Got Served and Step Up. If you’ve seen the original—or any dance movie, ever—you can guess how this ends.