Road House

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in a scene from the movie “Road House.” (OSV News photo/Laura Redford, Amazon)

NEW YORK (OSV News) – Way back in 1989, Patrick Swayze found an action vehicle in the tale of a brawling bouncer hired to keep the loutish patrons of an Indiana bar in line. Switch venues from the Midwest to the Southeast and substitute Jake Gyllenhaal’s biceps for Swayze’s and you have the wholly unnecessary remake “Road House” (Amazon MGM).

His glory days as a mixed martial arts fighter behind him and strapped for cash, Gyllenhaal’s haunted loner, Dalton, reluctantly accepts a job offer from Frankie (Jessica Williams), the owner of a rowdy beachside tavern in the Florida Keys.

Dalton hasn’t been off the Greyhound long before he falls for Ellie (Daniela Melchior), a doctor who offers to stitch him up after a rumble. But romance takes a back seat to Dalton’s ongoing rock ’em sock ’em crusade against a small band of motorcycle goons relentlessly determined to pillage his workplace.

What Dalton doesn’t initially realize is that these Hells Angels wannabes are, in fact, the minions of local crime lord Ben Brandt (Billy Magnussen). At his imprisoned (and unseen) father’s bidding, spoiled rich boy Brandt – a dim bulb much given to blustering tantrums – is out to force the closure of Frankie’s tavern as part of a real estate scheme.

When young Brandt’s stooges fail to deliver, thanks to Dalton’s superior smackdown skills, Brandt senior sends in brutish hulk Knox (real-life boxer Conor McGregor) to get the job done. With his arrival, the proceedings approach a crescendo of sweaty, grunting mayhem.

As scripted by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, director Doug Liman’s love song to lunkheads at first registers as merely vulgar and tiresome. But “Road House” degenerates into outright immorality as Dalton eventually seeks vengeance on the bad guys for endangering Charlie (Hannah Lanier), a young lass he befriended on his arrival in the Sunshine State.

The film contains frequent, sometimes brutal, physical violence, vigilantism, rear male nudity, a few uses of profanity, about a half-dozen milder oaths and pervasive rough and crude language. The OSV News classification is O – morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R – restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


Scroll to Top