Does the world really need a remake of Footloose? I would answer no, but I must also admit that the new movie is innocuous and pleasant-enough to watch. Writer-director Craig Brewer, who made the disarming Hustle & Flow, has taken Dean Pitchford’s 1984 screenplay and layered onto it some backstory ingredients that help it make more sense than the original. (There’s now a reason why the small town has banned dancing, and a purposefulness to the new kid’s outlook on life.)
I especially enjoyed watching newcomer Kenny Wormald, who—
—steps into Kevin Bacon’s shoes with charisma to burn; he’s also a talented dancer. The costarring roles are well-cast, and Miles Teller, another up-and-comer (who made a strong impression in last year’s Rabbit Hole) is quite good as Wormald’s geeky friend who’s featured in “Let’s Hear it for the Boy.”
This is a situation where audiences will go into the theater humming the featured songs, and while the movie they see offers no surprises, it does something relatively few fall releases can claim: it delivers exactly what it promises.