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Road House (2024)

Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniela Melchior, Connor McGregor, Billy Magnussen
Rated R. lt McCallany, Maura Tierney, Lily James
Rated R

Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video

First Impression: “Road House” is a remake of the popular campy 1980s film by the same name that starred the late Patrick Swayze. Although it may be nostalgia-inducing for some, it is a painfully bland, pitiful, and soulless remake that is as paint-by-the-numbers as action films can possibly get.
The dictionary definition of nostalgia is as follows: “a sentimental, longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the biggest problem with Hollywood today. The big studios have fallen in love with nostalgia. This has led to so many reboots, remakes, reimagining’s and just plain rip-offs of older films that audiences held in high regard. It’s gotten to the point that Hollywood is now starting to remake bad films, and that’s the case with this one.

If you happened to watch the original “Road House” from 1989 in the theater or on television, you would have come away with this opinion: this is not a good movie, this is a movie that’s so bad that it’s good. It’s a guilty pleasure film from the decade of excess and hair metal. It is a showcase for Patrick Swayze to kick ass and take names, where the story and dialogue take a back seat, and that’s fine as long as we all know it’s that kind of film.

So, when I saw that the Jeff Bezos streamer was going to remake such a beloved cult classic, I had my doubts about the quality and reasoning to remake it. Well, it appears greed and the lack of (or belief in) the creativity of new ideas are the driving force for why the film was made.

The new movie does try a little bit to play to young people, by including cameos by Post Malone; and to UFC fans, by introducing us to the hilarious but probably unintended acting style of the one and only Connor McGregor. There’s also a nod to fans of the underrated FX tv show “Mayans,” when JD Pardo shows up as the head of a much less intimidating biker gang as well.

But probably the biggest surprise of the new film is the inclusion of Jake Gyllenhaal in the Patrick Swayze role. It’s a little bizarre that an actor who’s viewed as an A-lister in Hollywood would be in this second-rate disaster. But who am I to judge? Gyllenhaal was probably a big fan of the original, so nostalgia probably played a role in his doing the movie as well.

Some other notable changes are the location of the Roadhouse bar, which doesn’t have a name, per se. I’m not sure if that was intentional or the bar name in the original film, “The Double Deuce” simply couldn’t be beat, but in this film it’s simply known as “The Roadhouse.”

The new movie is set in the Florida Keys where lawlessness and “Florida” shenanigans can run wild. Other than these few cosmetic changes, the story characters and, surprisingly, the action are very bland, and this factor was the most disappointing—these should have been the one area in which the film would go all out.

Nostalgia… it’s nice in theory but Hollywood proves again and again it stinks in practice.

Final verdict ½ star out of 5