The Road House remake is now on Prime and I sat down this afternoon to watch it. Just so you know, whenever I type Road House, I’m saying it like Peter Griffin in my head.

Action movies from the 80s were awesome. You had big, tough men, punching each other in the face and being manly all over the place. This new Road House looked like kick-ass movies were back, with big tough men punching each other in the face all over again. Yes!

You know the details, Jake Gyllenhaal, Conor McGregor, remake of the Patrick Swayze movies, Doug Liman blah blah blah.

In a nutshell, this was disappointing.

The Story

The story is pretty much the same as the original, James Dalton is hired to clean up a roadhouse, which a local criminal has designs on. A local crime lord wants the land for drug running, or a hotel development, I think. Actually, I missed why he wanted it.

There isn’t all that much new here, apart from Dalton’s character being built out some more. He has demons from his past that he must deal with. I don’t recall this in the original movie that well, but honestly, it didn’t add that much.

Well, apart from when he becomes afraid, not of the bad guys, but of what he can do when he’s angry.

Another addition, taking the place of the kindly farmer from the original, is a bookstore. When Dalton turns up in the Keys he meets the father and daughter team who run it.

The bookstore seems to only exist in this version to provide a payoff later that doesn’t feel earned.

The rest of the story was nice and simple, which was refreshing. There’s nothing too taxing here, it’s pretty much an episode of the A-Team.

Bullies are picking on a local business owner, the main protagonist helps out. I can’t help but think that the movie would be very much shorter if it was logical. Just shoot Dalton and burn down the bar, the end.

Conor’s Arse

Road House “introduces” Conor McGregor.

This introduction has him escaping a window, with a jealous husband shouting at him as he walks away buck ass naked. The gratuitous view of his arse is far too long and the “joke” gets old far too quickly.

You see his arse again at the end of the movie. I feel like I have seen far too much of this man’s arse after watching this movie.

I know of McGregor. I know not to pick a fight with him, but that’s about it. In this movie I can’t tell if he’s acting or if he was just being himself on camera. He delivers the lines well enough, but I can’t say he acts well.

He is a big guy and built like a brick shit house, but he walks funny all the time. With every step he takes, it’s like he’s walking to a UFC ring, arms stiffened by his side, swinging his body around.

I honestly laughed at it at some points. I just hope he never reads this review.

The Problems

I said I miss the 80s action movies. They had things in them called “Stunt Men”. Stunt men would get into pretend fights and look amazing doing it.

I grew up on Jackie Chan, where it was all choreographed, but those guys could take a punch or seven.

In the opening of Road House, there is a bare-knuckle boxing match. The first thing you notice is that most of it has been CG’ed.

The punches and kicks are overly exaggerated and it all looks wrong. Unfortunately, this carries on in the rest of the movie. I genuinely think that not a single punch was landed on anyone, anywhere in Road House.

Even stuntmen have turned into snowflakes.

You just broke my nail

The fights are all just fake, almost wrestling fake, if the WWE was allowed to add CG.

They aren’t particularly well-directed either. Liman has made some fun movies, but this was not good. The editing on the fights was laughable in places.

Talking of Liman, some of the rest of the direction was just as bad.

Overall, it’s fine, but now and then he seems to use the camera to point at people and it all just looks wrong. It takes you out of the movie when he does it.

Billy Magnussen plays “bad guy” and is as generic as they come. A rich boy whose dad is in jail. He threatens his henchmen, and tries to be a badass, but just isn’t.

It only really kicks off when Dad sends in McGregor to sort things out. The rest of the time, the bad guy is forgettable.

As I said, I love the early work of Jackie Chan and, with his early work, the camera would stay away from the action so you could see two very well-trained men fight a fight.

In Road House, the big fight between Gyllenhaal and McGregor was edited all over the place.

It switches, from the back, to a POV, to following someone’s fist to the other guy’s face, to coming out of McGregor’s overly familiar arse.

I’m going to punch you right in the bottom!


My overall take is that Road House is OK at best. Gyllenhaal was great. He played the cool, calm Dalton well.

McGregor seemed to be having fun, but that’s about it. I don’t see it going down as a classic. If you’re having a few beers with mates, it would probably be a lot of fun.

Personally, I don’t drink, but I can’t help thinking that being drunk would have helped this movie along.

Road House gets a generous, but average, 2.5 out of 5.

*edit* I’ve just taken half a star of this, as I realise there are no boobs in this movie! Sacrilege for something calling itself Road House.

2 out of 5 now.


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