[Courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios]

Movie Review: Road House (2024)

07:00 March 26, 2024
By: David Vicari

Road House (2024)

Look, I'm not a fan of the 1989 original Road House with Patrick Swayze. I get that it's a stupid, beer bottle bustin' yahoo action movie, but I find it sluggish and overlong. So a remake is not blasphemous to me. With that said, I think the loose remake, directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Edge of Tomorrow) and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, is a much better movie.

[Courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios]

Gyllenhaal plays Elwood Dalton, an ex-UFC fighter with a troubled past who is approached by Frankie (Jessica Williams) to be the lead bouncer at her unruly roadhouse bar in the Florida Keys. He takes the job and quickly busts some heads, but the thugs who caused the disruption keep coming back. It is soon revealed that the rich, bratty son (Billy Magnussen) of an incarcerated gangster wants the bar gone so he can make a lucrative real estate deal. The villains eventually send in their secret weapon to take out Dalton, a psychotic named Knox (former UFC champ Conor McGregor in his film debut).

This new Road House knows that it is a ridiculous comic book and doesn't take itself too seriously. That works most of the time, with Gyllenhaal delivering some legitimately funny lines. However, McGregor's character is so goofy and outlandish that he never really comes off as a real threat, so the final battle between Dalton and Knox isn't as intense as it should be.

There is some digital trickery in the fight sequences, but it seems to work. The fights are pretty fluid, meaning that you can actually see what is happening. No shaky cam here.

Just like in the original movie, Dalton has a romance with the foxy local doctor (Daniela Melchior). It works because Gyllenhaal and Melchior have good chemistry together.

The movie does fizzle out in the third act, but this new Road House is good fun most of the way. This should have been released in theaters, but unfortunately, it was sent directly to streaming. You can stream Road House on Amazon Prime.

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