HomeReviewRoad House (2024) | The Review

Road House (2024) | The Review

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The most anticipated movie of 2024, and possibly the last decade, was released on Amazon last week. I’m referring to the remake of the 1989 masterpiece Road House. What other film has classic lines like, “pain don’t hurt,” and, “I thought you’d be bigger.”

Let’s take a look at the 2024 adaptation of Road House, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and master thespian Conor McGregor.

To summarize the film, the first half was decent, but the second half was less so.

For starters, in true 2020s fashion, they had to replace Kevin Tighe, the Double Deuce’s owner, with a black woman. Why? Because that is what we do in Hollywood today. But it worked. Jessica Williams’ character was believable, and she did not appear forced on the audience.

Also, the original film, like most 1980s films, featured boobs. Why? Because any horror or violent film from that era featured boobs. There are no boobs in this movie. However, there is nudity in the form of Conor McGregor’s bare ass.  General rule.  If you are going to make a movie about bar fights, which will be watched by 85% males, if you are going to toss in some naked bodies, don’t make them naked men.  Just saying.   

Similar to the 1989 film, the general idea is that she owns a bar in the Florida Keys that needs to be cleaned up. But, unlike in the original film, she goes to a backwoods fighting club in search of another Cooler and comes across Dalton by, a former UFC fighter, by accident whom she decides to hire. Why? I don’t know. She did not see him fight. He is not a bouncer. He has never worked in the industry, as far as we know. She only saw him being stabbed and thought he’d be an excellent candidate to clean up her bar.

Dalton then decides to commit suicide by parking in front of a train. Why? I don’t know. But, after surviving, he changes his mind and accepts the job.  Does the movie ever revisit the whole suicide angle.  Nope.   

After arriving in the Keys, Dalton first comes across a bookstore owned by Hannah Love and her father, played by Kevin Carroll. In this remake, they play the role previously played by Red West. In the original, Red West’s character provides a wealth of information about the small town and the main antagonist’s motivations. In this film, they serve no purpose. Hollywood writers can’t write for shit anymore, so these characters don’t develop.

One good easter egg is that there is a diner right next to their bookstore. It’s called the Double Deuce.

Dalton has finally arrives at bar, generically called The Road House. OK?!

This leads to the first of many bar fights. Let’s discuss the fight choreography and cinematography. It is terrible. Like, really terrible. We don’t need greenscreen/CGI with camera angles that look like they were shot from a fly with a camera attached, flying around the actors. A couple of dudes are fighting. Just set up a few cameras and film the fight. Think Rocky. It isn’t hard.

But during the first fight scene, we learn about Dalton’s stick. He’s extremely sarcastic and doesn’t care. I appreciate it. I enjoy sarcasm, so I loved this angle.

What I didn’t like was how this film failed to capture what made the original so good. This film shows none of the behind-the-scenes work that a head bouncer does in the industry. In the original, Dalton’s character fires people, trains bouncers, and generally assists in the operation of the bar. N of that is presented in this film. This is most likely due to the fact that Dalton in this film is a former UFC fighter with no background as a bouncer. This was a major omission in the remake and took some of the depth from this film that the 1989 had.


After Dalton begins kicking everyone’s ass, the main antagonist, played by Billy Magnussen, receives support from Conor McGregor. McGregor plays a crazed MF’er who enjoys getting into fights, usually at bars. So he played himself. It appeared that they told McGregor to act like the real Conor McGregor. The problem is, he couldn’t pull it off. His character is simply annoying.

So, why did they cast McGregor? Probably because the filmmakers decided to collaborate with the UFC to create this film. My guess is that in order to obtain the rights to the UFC, use real UFC footage, and collaborate with the UFC on Dalton’s UFC flashbacks, the UFC demanded that McGregor appear in the film to help boost his reported return to the octagon.

The first half of the film was fairly entertaining, issues aside, with a tight plot and average writing. The film then completely goes off the rails in the second half. They begin the love story with the doctor who treats Dalton. It goes nowhere and is never fully developed. Throw in some corrupt cops and a Latin drug-running ring that is funding the construction of a resort on the site of the Road House.

Towards the end, you have one of the two major battles. The first is on a superyacht. It’s so over the top that it falls into the John Wick/Marvel’s Superhero category. This action sequence was nearly unwatchable.

The entire thing culminates in a confrontation between Gyllenhaal and McGregor. Again, the fight is a greenscreen/CGI mess that is difficult to follow. The best part about the original was that you knew Dalton had a rumored one-shot, kill-shot move that would appear at the end. This film did not have such a thing. So you have this long fight scene that ends with Dalton discovering some random broken wooden chair legs on the ground and using them to stick McGregor full of holes. Zero payoff. 

During the entire movie you have this subplot where Dalton quit the UFC after going psycho and beating his best friend to death in the ring after he was already beat.  They develop this whole story, which you think was going to parallel the ripping out of the throat move in the original.  I assumed this would be McGregor’s fate would be sealed.  Nope.  Instead, they go with the human pin cushion move.  Again, zero payoff.   

Overall, the film was passable. I finished it, so it’s better than any number of recent movies, particularly streaming movies, which I only watched for 10 minutes.  But again, it does show the lack of talent in Hollywood writing today.   

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