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Sunday, March 24, 2024

Road House 2024 * * Stars


2024's Road House is mediocre, like 3-day leftovers mediocre. It's a re-imagining of a 1989 film (of the same title) yet it lacks the blue-printed camp and revealing acuity of that "Greed decade", current cult classic. Basically the new Road House is a prime example of why Hollywood just doesn't get it when it comes to remakes. "No one ever wins a fight". You hear that Tinseltown? Do ya?

'24's Road House yet again shows that if a bar is doing badly and patrons are acting afoul, it's time to call in a mysterious bouncer to clean up the mess. Thirty-five years ago this plot device was fresh, cultish, and novel. Now it seems dated, like just an excuse for star Jake Gyllenhaal (who takes over for the late Patrick Swayze) to get his brawl on and show off his ripped soma. Gyllenhaal's Dalton doesn't do much bouncing, and yet he receives five grand a week for his character to pretty much mug to the audience and wax philosophically. Swayze's Dalton, well he did it better by rocking the occasional tai chi and not constantly explaining how he was gonna injure his bad, taproom ruffians. "I know who you are". Well at least somebody does Jake.

So OK, Road House isn't an awful flick, just a desperate and badly judged one, with a diegesis that's all over the place and three-dimensional fight sequences that don't represent the feel of well, actual fighting. I mean why "House's" director (Doug Liman) decided to dig up the body of his Bourne Identity contrivance is anybody's guess. Um, was he bored or just felt the need to be hotdogging? Either way his modern Road House lacks the bone-crunching simplicity of helmer Rowdy Harrington's original, where you put the camera at a couple of different angles and let the fists of fury, carnage commence. Yup, skip this newborn Road House and convert back to that late 80s curds. Rule of this "road". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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