2011 Running time: 113 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3

Synopsis

Music video dancer Kenny Wormald and Dancing With The Stars winner Julianne Hough step up for this remake of the 1984 crowd-pleaser. Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer says he "injects Southern grit" into his retelling of the story of an upbeat Boston teen who moves to a small town where, thanks to an uptight clergyman (Dennis Quaid), dancing and rock music have been banned. And he does. It's that rare thing - a sequel that actually improves on the original thanks to some sharp writing and even sharper dance moves.

Director

  • Craig Brewer

Cast

  • Kenny Wormald

  • Julianne Hough

  • Dennis Quaid

  • Andie MacDowell

Review

What's this jitterbuggin' across the floor in a plaid shirt and tight, blue jeans? Why it's none other than a literal reboot of the 1984 original starring Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer.

And guess what? Grab yer pardners because it's not bad...if you're in the mood for a spot of hoedown line dancing, a bit of homespun philosophy and a school bus stock car derby.

Director Brewer fleshes out the story of a small Georgia town where dancing and loud music are banned - the draconian ruling is the result of a Final Destination-style fatal road post-dance pile-up that cost the town five of its teens.

One of these was the son of well-meaning minister Reverend Shaw (Quaid, channelling a sympathetic Dubya) and now he keeps a close eye on the well-being of his daughter Ariel (Hough).

However, she's in a antsy mood and is locking lips with a rebellious grease monkey...and making eyes at out-of-towner Ren (Wormald), a dude-with-attitude who ain't happy about the shape-throwin' ban.

Updating the quarter-of-a-century old original with a more racially representative cast and hipper street moves, Brewer also trumps his predecessor with a zinging script and some likeable performances, none more so than Wormald and his geeky buddy Willard (Miles Teller).

It's undemanding stuff - the biggest thrill is Ren taking on his stock car driving love rival in a bus demolition derby - but it achieves what it sets out to do.

Kick off your Sunday shoes...

Tim Evans

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