Home Movie Reviews ‘Road House’ – Review
‘Road House’ – Review

‘Road House’ – Review


Jake Gyllenhaal brings the cool as he steps out of the Octagon and takes his spot on the door in Road House, a brand new re-imagining of the classic 1980s action romp, and Gyllenhaal and director Doug Liman make this one a pure pop-corn smashing success!

Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal), an ex-UFC fighter trying to escape his dark past and his penchant for violence, in this adrenaline-fueled actioner. Dalton is barely scraping by on the reputation that still precedes him when he is spotted by Frankie (Jessica Williams), owner of a roadhouse in the Florida Keys. She hires him to be her new bouncer in hopes of stopping a violent gang, working for crime boss Brandt (Billy Magnussen), from destroying her beloved bar. Even five to one, Brandt’s crew is no match for Dalton’s skills. But the stakes get higher with the arrival of ruthless gun-for-hire, Knox (Conor McGregor). As the brutal brawls and bloodshed escalate, the tropical Keys prove more dangerous than anything Dalton ever faced in the Octagon.

Regarding 1980s action classics, Road House ranks up there as one of the all-time great cheesy action watches. Starring the late great Patrick Swayze as Dalton, the ‘best damn cooler in the game’, Road House was the ultimate cheesy-action picture thanks to its classic lines, smash-mouth brawls and Swayze’s immense swagger. Now director, Doug Liman, a noted action filmmaker with credits including The Bourne Identity, Jumper and American Made, and all-star American A-lister Jake Gyllenhaal are here to revamp Road House for an all-new era. And this action pic packs a punch. Moving the action from the cowboy patch of Missouri to the sun-kissed sand of the Florida Keys, Liman reinvents 2024’s Road House in the vein of a western with his Dalton as a wandering cowboy tough guy who finds his way into a small town with plenty of bad juju who then has to put things right with his fists and plenty of brawn.

Liman’s approach to 2024’s Road House is driven by the fact that he’s very aware of the film’s reputation, and his desire is definitely to make a film that holds up to the original’s classic macho swag but also to inject it with a new energy and setting that makes it equal parts grittier and sexier in good measure. In describing Road House, the best word to sum it up is certainly ‘swagger’, and there’s plenty of it with this all-action piece of fun. The punches land hard, the heroes are slick as can be, the explosions are loud, and the villains are absolute maniacs. Throw in a dash of love and one hell of a brawl, and well, things get fun. What you’ve got with Road House is just a full dose of pop-corn action movie excitement, and it’s a wild ride from beginning to end.

Stepping up to take on the door and jump into the breach from the great Patrick Swayze is Jake Gyllenhaal, one of Hollywood’s reigning golden boys, and damn, is he having a good time with this picture. Gyllenhaal’s Elwood Dalton is a former UFC fighter with a checkered and brutal past that has left him as a broken, bitter and haunted man. With nothing left, he takes a job at a run-down Road House in the Florida Keys, where things get interesting. Gyllenhaal embodies the classic cowboy, John Wayne spirit with his take on Dalton, and he’s got the grit and the power to not back down from a fight. And he’s freaking JACKED as well! All of it leaves him as a formidable hero with something to prove, and when he sees that bad things are happening, he can’t help but step up.

Two-time UFC champion Conor McGregor is facing down Gyllenhaal’s Dalton and making his screen debut as the unhinged, aggressive and maniacal Knox. And damn, does he have a blast in this picture. McGregor’s mantra has long been that ‘he’s here to take over’, and he damn well delivers with his performance as Knox, a violent, psychopathic mercenary who has a speciality for roughing people up, and all while having a good time doing it. The part of Knox was tailor-made for McGregor, and he absolutely goes for it with this performance, taking his natural extroverted energy and throwing it into this wild and off-the-chain character. He also makes for a hell of a villain for Gyllenhaal’s Dalton to take on, and damn do they rumble. McGregor goes for it here in Road House, and Hollywood had better watch out because he’s coming for the belt and is ready to make his mark on the acting game.

Road House offers up action, action and more action, and for film junkies who are in need of their fix, well, they’ll get it with this picture. We’re talking about fist fighting, bar smashing, body bashing, explosive wrecking fun, and all of it ramps up the experience and adrenaline of Road House. The crux of it comes down to the mano-o-mano fight between Gyllenhaal’s Dalton and McGregor’s Knox, and it’s a beatdown of epic proportions. Both fighters throw in a mix of full-on mixed martial arts mayhem, and Liman’s camera work puts you right in the middle of the fight. But there ain’t no belt in this bout, and it’s winner-take-all in the biggest, baddest brawl of the year!

Road House is just a straight-up good dose of fun, and audiences out for a good time will get it with this one. Thanks to a combination of a modern-day cowboy hero who has stepped out of the Octagon and onto the door looking for a fight, an outlandish uber-villain keen for a scrap, and some totally wild action set pieces, Road House is just straight-up over-the-top fun delivered in the best way possible.

Image: Prime Video