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Movie Review: Road House (2024 Prime Video) *No Spoilers*

Road House Movie 2024 One Sheet

'm not entirely sure if I've seen the original 1989 Road House. I feel like I probably saw it on home video but I don't really remember it, and, just watching that movie's trailer, Patrick Swayze seems too pretty to be a bouncer. I mean, he has such great hair in that film!

All this to say, I don't have any attachment to the original film that Road House (2024) is based upon.

I will say this isn't really my kind of movie but I enjoyed the trailer, particularly the opening fight sequence, where Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal) asks if any of the guys have health insurance. I was so glad to see this sequence has so much more to it, and is a real highlight in terms of both action, humor and really setting the tone for who Dalton is.

The story is pretty straight forward. Road House owner, Frankie (Jessica Williams), is having some serious problems with a motorcycle gang terrorizing her establishment. After going through several bouncers, she casts her net a bit wider and finds Dalton, a former UFC fighter, who she believes can go head to head with the gang. Naturally escalation and carnage ensues.

Fortunately it's not all wall to wall fight sequences. The movie does take the time to introduce a few supporting characters, and just enough of what they're about to start to care about them. I particularly liked Charlie (Hannah Love Lanier), an overly enthusiastic bookshop sales assistant who kind of frames the whole plot of the movie in fun exchanges throughout.

I can't say Jake Gyllenhaal has ever been a big draw card for me. I've never seen him in anything that I didn't like but he usually plays characters that kind of blend in (at least that's my impression). Even in Spider-man Far From Home he's playing a guy that initially just blended in at Stark Industries.

However, in Road House, Jake really steps up his game, not only looking the part of a former UFC fighter but also giving the character some quirks, and a very likeable nature that, for me at least, would love to see in another movie.

The fight sequences are all very good. I preferred the earlier ones, such as Dalton's initial meeting with the motorcycle gang, with his queries about insurance. These kind of felt more grounded and clearly demonstrated Dalton's ability is streets above his adversaries. 

Jake really sells these scenes too with the dialogue and an unflinching attitude to what may happen next. I actually got Clint Eastwood vibes from the gang scene reminiscent of with the motorcycle gang scenes in Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980).

Later in the movie, if you really think about it, neither Dalton or his main adversary should be standing after their first round of punches. However that wouldn't be fun, so you just have to run with it. I imagine, anyone who likes these kind of fight films, like John Wick etc., aren't too fussed with reality over how cool the fight actually looks and plays out.

I thoroughly enjoyed Road House. It's fun escapism, updated with a modern look, and good humor. It's easily one of the best, and most memorable, roles I've seen Jake Gyllenhaal play. I'd definitely see another story featuring Dalton if they could find something that wasn't just a repeat of this film's plot.


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