ROAD HOUSE – A Review by Jenn Rohm

ROAD HOUSE – A Review by Jenn Rohm

1989 the world was gifted with Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliott in Road House.  This is one of those movies that when it would come on the TV, I would stop and watch.  We were given 3 rules to follow: “1. Never underestimate your opponent – expect the unexpected. 2. Take it outside – never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary.  3. Be nice.”  I don’t even have to pull up the movie to see the moment play out in my head.  Last year I started hearing about a reboot and have been uneasy.  This is a classic B action movie for a reason, how would it be done?

R. Lance Hill, one of the writers of the original, along with Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry produced a script that allowed director Doug Liman to deliver a movie that holds to the concepts and some of the core pieces. Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a former UFC fighter who has fallen on bad times and relies on his reputation to make money. Frankie (Jessica Williams) owns a bar in the Florida Keys and is looking for someone to help clean up the trouble coming into “The Road House” that Ben Brandt (Billy Magnussen) has arranged for.  Ben’s father has reached out to Knox (Conor McGregor) to assist.  Laura (B.K. Cannon) is a bartender who is loyal to Frankie and believes in what it could become again but isn’t sure how much longer she can hold out.  Billy (Lukas Gage) and Reef (Dominique Columbus) also work at the bar and learn from Dalton how to keep the peace inside.

Dalton does have an older beat-up car at the start, he takes a bus to the Keys.  Once there he doesn’t have a meeting to provide the three rules.  He teaches Billy to watch for weapons, takes the fight outside himself, and is nice until he isn’t.  Coffee remains his beverage of choice and his romantic interest is a doctor.  The stage has wire in front to protect the performers who continue even when fights break out.  And there is one moment of girls dancing on a table being helped down.  While this is a reboot, it isn’t trying to be the original.  I was able to get into it and enjoy it.  Yes, it is a bit over the top and no I don’t think it would happen this way in real life.  This is a modernized 70s-80s type B action movie that will stand on its own merit.

Gyllenhaal put in the time and the work to have the physique of a fighter and there are more than a few scenes that allow him to show it off.  His ability to play a role that you can’t decide if he is sane, about to lose it, or a functioning psychopath adds to the story.  McGregor grabs your attention, and he doesn’t let it go.  I get the feeling he was told to “go big or go home” and he went as full out as he could.

It was nice to see an action movie that can hold up without objectifying women.  The bar owner is a strong woman, and the doctor can fight back and stand up for herself.  Scenes were not filled with women in little to no clothing just to fill the screen.  This was a good step forward.

I am glad and appreciative that I did get to see it on the big screen.  I also understand why it is not going to run in theaters and is available on Amazon Prime.  Some of the CGI used to give it the vibe they were going for was more obvious than it will be for the home audience.

While the original will always have a place in my heart, I will add this reboot of Road House to my collection of action movies for when I need the escape from reality.


Director: Doug Liman

Written By: Anthony Bagarozzi, Chuck Mondry, R. Lance Hill

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniela Melchoir, Conor McGregor

MPAA Rating: R for violence throughout, pervasive language, and some nudity.

Genres: Action, Thriller

Selig Rating: 4 stars

Runtime: 2h 1m

Release Date: March 21, 2024

Stream Site: Amazon Prime

Trailer: Road House Trailer

Website: Road House website


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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