'Road House' Movie Review: Better Than The Original

Road House movie 2024 with Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor image

Doug Limon's ROAD HOUSE shares a similar plot and main character's name from the 80's Patrick Swayze movie but other than that, the Jake Gyllenhaal-led film amps up the violence and humor in a very different and entertaining manner. UFC fighter Conor McGregor makes his feature film debut, and steals the show as a beast of an antagonist. 

Dalton played by Jake Gyllenhaal is a former UFC fighter living as a nomad until he's offered as job as a bouncer at a Florida Keys roadhouse. The rest of the story beats are similar to the original. A business man (Billy Magnussen) resorts to violence to destroy a joint called the Road House to make way for a resort development. 

ROAD HOUSE stars Gyllenhaal, Daniela Melchior (THE SUICIDE SQUAD), Billy Magnussen (NO TIME TO DIE), Lukas Gage (The White Lotus, Euphoria), Arturo Castro, JD Pardo (Mayans M.C.) and in his feature film debut, Conor McGregor

Patrick Swayze’s ROAD HOUSE is memorable for its star but the 1989 film is a mediocre film typical of the 80s action genre. Still no one really wanted a remake.

No one can capture Swayze’s charm but Gyllenhaal does his own thing. Gyllenhaal’s Dalton has a sense of humor when faced with violence. For example, he asks a group of henchmen where the nearest hospital is located as a warning to avoid the brawl. What ensues is hilarious.

McGregor is the standout as a scary dude, and his grand entrance is memorable. He brings energy to a movie that could’ve lagged midway through.

Billy Magnussen (NO TIME TO DIE) plays the evil entrepreneur, Ben Brandt, in a white suite which is a callback to the original villain. The actor didn’t agree with my characterization of his character as a spoiled child-type antagonist, but that’s what comes off when throwing his tantrums when his henchmen fail to get rid of Dalton.

Ben’s henchmen played by JD Pardo, Arturo Castro and Beau Knapp are so inept as tough guys- it’s hilarious. The only other break out character is the young, fearless teen (Hannah Love Lanier) Charlie who serves as a catalyst for Dalton to stay the course.

While the film is full of cliches, the high stakes for Dalton are enough to keep your interest especially when a better fighter shows up.

Doug Liman’s film record is solid and he doesn’t disappoint in his latest effort with heart-pounding action in the last act.

ROAD HOUSE premieres on Prime Video on March 21.

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