Road House (2024)

ROAD HOUSE (1989) is one of my all time favorite movies. It is simultaneously extremely of its time and absolutely of all times. There’s nothing like it, nothing as good as it, it’s a lightning bolt and they stopped making the type of bottle you would need to even try to catch it again. But it is possible to make a fun remake of it, and I know this because after many years of threatening somebody finally went through with it. ROAD HOUSE (2024) skipped theaters because it was made for the Amazon Prime Free Product Shipping and Digital Television Network, but I liked it more than any non-JOHN WICK or M:I theatrically released Hollywood action movie of recent years I can think of. It’s funny and badass and different enough from the original to stand on its own.

The director is Doug Liman (THE BOURNE IDENTITY, LIVE DIE REPEAT F.K.A. EDGE OF TOMORROW), Joel Silver is still the producer, the credited screenwriters are Anthony Bagarozzi (THE NICE GUYS) & Charles Mondry (in development DOC SAVAGE and PLAY DIRTY), sharing a story credit with David Lee Henry (OUT FOR JUSTICE) for his work on the original, and at some point some combination of those people apparently cracked the key to pulling this off. See, one of the things that makes the original ROAD HOUSE fun is the concept: the legendary but humble bad motherfucker who drifts into town, makes friends, stays cool, kicks ass when pushed, and comes out on top. It’s also the wild bar brawls, the music, the slimy rich bad guys and their bastard henchmen, the knowing but un-self-conscious absurdity and excess. But mostly it’s Patrick Swayze, a unique and irreplaceable movie star who could play Dalton as an elite cooler, gentle sweetheart and wise philosopher and make it seem that he, Patrick Swayze, 1000% believes every word Dalton is saying, every choice he’s making. And one thing we don’t want to see, though some may claim otherwise, is some other dude trying to re-create what Swayze did. ‘Cause nobody could do it as well.

So what they did was they kept a bunch of the cool action hero parts of that character, and applied them to one of the great and unique movie stars of today – one that in fact worked with Swayze in DONNIE DARKO! – and let him do it his way. So we will still have to refer to the original for the “Be Nice” speech when we need it (which is pretty much every day, let’s be honest), but Jake Gyllenhaal (CITY SLICKERS) doesn’t do it here, because he’s not trying to be Swayze. If he did “be nice” it would be cute, but it would be hollow. Instead we get a different Dalton based in Gyllenhaal’s specific humor, and it’s really a great performance, one forged from his years being more interesting as a weirdo, but now shifting that guy slightly to pass for a leading man by being absolutely cut, wearing cool shirts, being the fucking Man, getting laughs while terrifying and confusing his enemies, partly by… well, by being nice to them. It seems like a put on to intimidate them, and when it turns out it’s not that seems to mess with them even more.

Gyllenhaal’s version is named Elwood Dalton, but everyone just calls him Dalton. He gets a top shelf introduction strolling in late to an underground fight where a sloppy but unbeatable tough guy named Carter Ford (Austin “Post Malone” Post, WRATH OF MAN) has been taking on all challengers without much effort. Dalton enters the ring, sits down on a stool, takes off his hoodie, and the crowd gasps. Before he’s even unlaced his combat boots Carter has recognized him as “that fucking guy” and refuses to fight him, so he gets to leave with the money, and without throwing a punch.

Then the promoter stabs him in the parking lot and runs away in fear, so he sits on the shitty car he lives in, attending to the wound with Super Glue and duct tape while refusing an offer from Frankie (Jessica Williams, BOOKSMART) to head security at her bar in the Florida Keys. So this is already a great action hero we got here, in my opinion.

Both of the writers have worked with Shane Black, and it shows. I think there’s even a little Martin Riggs in this Dalton – the funny fucked up guy with the heart of gold. Even has a pretty great variation on the hero-considers-suicide part of LETHAL WEAPON. Dalton’s past tragedy is his own doing, though. We will learn that he was a UFC fighter who killed a guy in the octagon. Kept punching when he was already out. He never wants to go that far again, so it has made him very conscious of consequences and lines that need to be drawn to stay in control. And of course he will eventually lose that control.

The titular roadhouse has a very different vibe from the original, more of a paradise than a redneck warehouse. I don’t understand the thinking behind losing the name The Double Deuce in favor of The Road House, except to explain why the title is two words instead of one, but it’s a cool triangular building with a thatched roof, right on the beach with a patio overlooking the water. When he first gets there he sits drinking a cup of Cuban coffee while the band warms up and I thought this actually seemed like a good place to spend time. Sure beats his car. His boss is funny, he likes mentoring the younger bouncers Billy (Lukas Gage, the shitty golfer husband on Fargo Season 5) and Reef (Dominique Columbus, Ray Donovan), and the bartender Laura (B.K. Cannon) is really nice to him, even brings him breakfast. That the filmmakers avoid redoing some of the most famous (or memed) parts but include smaller moments like that shows a genuine respect for the original, I think.

And they handled the music well. Instead of one house band it seems to rotate each night, much of it seems possibly recorded live for real, a pretty good variety of styles, blues and zydeco and what not, and all people that I wouldn’t necessarily seek out but if they were playing live at the bar I’d think they were good. Of course they still have a fence to protect them from thrown bottles, and in fact one of the red lines a villain crosses in order to start trouble is tearing through the cage and insulting the band.

Like the Double Deuce, The Road House is a place where crazy fights break out all the time. (A Florida thing, maybe.) But also local rich boy Ben Brandt (Billy Magnussen, BIRTH OF THE DRAGON, INGRID GOES WEST, ALADDIN) is desperate to buy Frankie’s land to build a resort, and she refuses, so he sends biker gangs and shit to make staying in business miserable. There’s some subtext here because Brandt says he “built” this town, by which he means his family has generational wealth that allows them to own things including the police and they do crimes (which his dad is in prison for now). Frankie also inherited this from her family – her uncle who actually did build the Road House despite the challenges of being a Black business owner in the south at that time.

Though Brandt is a non-combatant villain I think he’s a really good one. He has the exact right hair cut and light colored hipster suit to come into The Road House and look like a fucking asshole. And I’m intrigued that he knows Laura by name. His introduction having a guy shave him with a straight razor on his yacht during a storm is funny and says so much: he’s a psycho, he’s an idiot, he thinks he’s entitled to do anything he wants, and blames his failures on the guys who are too afraid of him to say no. It’s a great running gag to see him get increasingly frustrated each time his goons have to tell him they failed. But also it’s a little scary that he finally has a face-to-face with Dalton only to poke him about his traumatic past. I don’t think it even serves a strategic purpose. He’s just a creep.

I’m aware that other people are saying this is not a good movie, but I don’t get it. The first big confrontation with bikers is a classic scene, Dalton ultimately having to slap and twist and break these guys in the parking lot, but only after trying to talk them out of it, asking them if they have health insurance, and being assured that there’s a hospital within driving distance. Then he borrows a car to personally drive them there, and apologizes to the doctor for the extra work. Dr. Ellie (Daniela Melchior (THE SUICIDE SQUAD, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3, FAST X) doesn’t initially seem amused by him, but as in the original they start to see each other and she tells him some of the stuff about the town.

I love the ascetic asskickers. This Dalton has no car anymore, no phone, turns down being put up in a hotel because he prefers to live in a tiny houseboat, has befriended a teenage girl named Charlie (Hannah Lanier, Special Ops: Lioness) and her dad Stephen (Kevin Carroll, JESUS’ SON, PAID IN FULL) at a used bookstore who help him look things up on their computer. It’s important for a Dalton to have friends. And I don’t know if he really counts as that, but there’s a really funny character named Moe (Arturo Castro, BUSHWICK, Broad City), a biker whose arm he breaks but he likes Dalton so much he later says “Hey man, good to see you!” during a brawl.

Brandt’s imprisoned dad calls in an absolute psychopath named Knox (former UFC champion and frequent recipient of sexual assault allegations Conor McGregor in his acting debut) to burn the place down. I wish they could’ve gotten that energy without hiring a real life villain, but to the extent that I was able to set that aside he is a funny one, a bizarre-looking agent of chaos cartoonishly strutting around with a shit-eating-grin on his face, so happy that he can be the absolute worst and no one can stand up to him because of the physical threat he poses. Kind of like the real, but also the reverse of Dalton – he purposely starts shit, and enjoys hurting people. I like that they don’t pretend he’s a mastermind at all. He’s more like a roid raging gremlin.

The action follows the original in that they have some big, out of control bar brawls, and also break down Dalton to go savage in a protracted one-on-one with the rich guy’s top henchman. They also throw in some boat chase shit – why not? They got water, might as well use it. I think the fights are well choreographed and I really like how they’re shot (cinematographer: Henry Braham, THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, THE SUICIDE SQUAD), maybe a few slightly disorienting whip pans, but mostly it’s very good about moving with the fighters as they get tossed around, switching to an occasional interesting POV shot, keeping the energy up.

I had seen some complaints about “CGI in the fight scenes,” and I kept wondering what it was gonna be – some kind of THE-FAST-AND-THE-FURIOUS-engine-interior meets THE-STREET-FIGHTER-bone-break-x-ray or something? It turns out it uses a technique that some people think is the worst thing ever, but that I honestly didn’t know was a trick, I just knew it made the hits look incredibly brutal and exciting. Turns out that this, Donnie Yen’s RAGING FIRE and some South Korean movies have been using a new thing where they shoot multiple passes of the fight choreography, including the actors hitting pads at full force, and composite them together to make some of the hits look extra punishing.

I know I’ll be called stupid for this, but this is the truth, I did not notice what was supposedly fake looking in the fights either the first time through or when I went through and watched some of them again after knowing what they did. I mean other than that the punches look too fast and hard to not hurt. But that’s part of why the fights are exciting. There’s not much I can say. I still run into people who have a puritanical rejection of filming at different speeds as part of the art form of cinematic fighting. There are people who don’t like wires. There are even people who think fights should be realistic (!?). Any tool you can use, somebody is gonna think it’s an abomination. I’m not religious so I thought these fights were great. I will try to respect if you can’t partake but I hope you’ll reciprocate.

The stunt coordinator is Garrett Warren (MEAN GUNS, MODERN VAMPIRES, INLAND EMPIRE, BEOWULF, GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS 2, COLOMBIANA, REAL STEEL, THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, LOGAN, also a frequent stunt double for Mickey Rourke and for Dolph Lundgren on JOSHUA TREE) and the fight coordinator is Steve Brown (second unit stunt coordinator for AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER). I guess they both have lots of experience integrating stunts and visual FX, it makes sense. But I wouldn’t have known if not for the pitchforks.

Many people seem to hate this movie, I honestly don’t understand why, but there’s little incentive to convince them otherwise. There are plenty of extra-cinematic reasons to not support it, whether or not you’re open minded about remaking one of the greats. And honestly how can you even support it anyway, it’s not in theaters and they’ll probly never put it on disc, it’s just part of their portfolio or whatever. But the movie itself is the kind of thing I love: one of today’s most interesting actors fully dedicating himself to a straight ahead action movie, one with joyful uses of all the best tropes, colorful characters, inventive fights, lots of laughs, many grace notes I didn’t mention, nice to look at. It’s just a great time not at the movies. If they’d released it like a real movie I bet it would’ve lasted okay. But I for one will remember it fondly.


p.s. I’m an o.g. because I reviewed the first straight-to-video ROAD HOUSE follow-up when it came out eighteen years ago. (I was dumber then, though. Now I’m wise.)


This entry was posted on Monday, March 25th, 2024 at 7:31 am and is filed under Reviews, Action. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

68 Responses to “Road House (2024)”

  1. I loved it!

    I keep seeing people saying “it takes itself too seriously” but I thought the complete opposite-I thought it was very self-aware and didn’t take itself super serioisly at all, which is why it worked.

    It didn’t try to be the original. It was a very simple “stranger from out of town befriends the locals and helps them deal with the corrupt, rich bad guys” schtick.

    I laughed out loud over the “Road House” name explanation.

    Really enjoyable watch.

  2. I’m with Vern on this. This is good stuff. Elwood’s a likeable hero – more so than James, I think – the action is cool, the dialog is sharp, and they have lost all the goofy stuff from the original. None of the musicians are of course nowhere near Jeff Healy, but they are good in their own way. I was entertained.

  3. burningambulance

    March 25th, 2024 at 8:10 am

    Road House is one of my favorite movies, too. But I am not a child, so “Don’t You Dare Touch My Special Thing” is not part of my approach to art. I had no problem with the idea of a remake, and went into this wanting to like it. But I didn’t. Here’s why.

    The original was an R-rated movie that wanted to be an R-rated movie. It was set in a violent bar that the owner just wanted to make a little less violent to improve his profit margins. This is a wannabe PG-13 movie, a family-friendly Road House set in a place the owner clearly wants to be a place you can take the whole family to for chicken strips, but all these mean bikers keep showing up and ruining everyone’s fun. I mean, nu-Dalton makes friends with a wisecracking teenage girl! If that doesn’t tell you who the intended audience for this movie is…

    There is no sex in this movie. First and most obviously, nu-Dalton doesn’t have sex with the doctor, at least not on camera. Second, when the female bartender brings nu-Dalton breakfast, she defuses any sexual tension with the line “Don’t worry about it – I have brothers,” instead of blatantly ogling the ripped new guy, like her counterpart did in the original. Third, there’s no equivalent to Wade Garrett in the new movie. Garrett was not just Dalton’s mentor/partner in the original, he was also a sexual competitor, flirting with the doctor and pretty much everyone else in the room at all times and thus pumping the energy level even higher.

    It’s nicely shot, although some parts seem almost fish-eye at times, which is weird. And McGregor seems like a CGI character inserted via motion capture. He’s a genuinely weird-looking dude. (And again we’re back to the movie’s weird sexlessness – he’s the only person who gets naked, and it’s played for laughs.)

    I don’t mind Gyllenhaal, but imagine how awesome a genuinely R-rated Road House remake starring Michael Jai White could have been.

  4. Yeah the Conor McGregor-ness of it is enough to keep me away sadly.

    Like if my favorite baseball team made every twitter troll happy and signed Trevor Bauer. Hard pass.

    I’ll watch clips of the film’s fight scenes maybe on youtube without him in it later, but I don’t need to give that guy more space.

  5. I had a great time with this. My partner had seen the trailer, loved the original and wanted to watch it. I was very lukewarm but decided to give it a shot, and it was exactly what I needed. Had no idea it was Liman at first, and was wondering why the action looked so incredible once it got started.

    I echo Vern’s weirdness of watching McGregor – but also wish that it hadn’t gone the Marvel movie route for end credit sequence. Feels like this one could have had something fun at the beginning – maybe delayed till after Post-Malone runs away, then having the credits play through some highlights of the main guy’s MMA career. Though that would lose the giddy feeling of delayed gratification when the first punch/slaps actually land in the first fight. I dunno. When the end credits started, I rolled my eyes.

  6. Well, I had fun with it. Like The Simpsons getting an American cheeseburger in Japan, it’s interesting to see a different era’s take on the same basic premise. You get a feel for the differing tropes of the eighties and the twenties, both good and bad.

    -2024 uses strong CGI to give the action a scope that the original couldn’t. You have people getting hit by cars, fighting on speeding… speedboats, having battles that progress from sinking yachts to trucks driving through buildings. It’s in keeping with the ethos of the original, which had its villain using a monster truck for evil, but in a very modern way.

    -There’s some crystal-clear ‘Everyone’s Sexy and Nobody’s Horny’ action. Every character, even minor ones, are somewhere on the hottie spectrum. One third-tier henchman is played by chiseled JD Pardo. Dalton’s boss goes from oily Kevin Tighe to lithe Jessica Williams. It’s as much a glossy fantasy as a Roger Moore Bond, but there the point is that… it’s a fantasy. This is supposed to be more or less reality, but there’s no character actors that look like Charles Dutton or J.T. Walsh. Joaquim de Almeida isn’t enough, I need some people who look like truckers!

    And yet, there’s no real sex in the movie aside from some butts played for laugh, the obligatory “look how cut Gyllenhaal is” scene, and Daniela Melchior briefly wearing a bikini. (I’d say she doesn’t get ogled like she would in a Fast & Furious movie, but she was *in* an F&F and didn’t get ogled there either. This truly is the mighty Marvel age of sexlessness.)

  7. I like the original Roadhouse. I like Gyllenhaal. I hate Conor McGregor for being a racist pile of horse dung and for the very credible allegations against him. I’ve avoided seeing Home Along 2 again because I don’t want to see one scene (you can probably guess which one) and the rest of the movie is not enough to justify watching it. Watching The Ref each Christmas is a bit tough with the Spaceyness of it all. How much will McGregor take me out of the movie?

  8. The Undefeated Gaul

    March 25th, 2024 at 8:48 am

    Definitely much more positive than my take then! I will try to explain my dislike a bit more below, because I wasn’t out to hate this. I genuinely had very high hopes and wanted to like it, especially after that fantastic trailer. The below is a bit messy as I have a lot of thoughts but don’t have the time to structure them perfectly – apologies for that in advance.

    Ultimately what it comes down to for me, is that I wasn’t able to get on the movie’s wavelength. Obviously the film has a very specific sense of humor, but 80% of the jokes missed the mark for me. Instead of making me laugh, I found a lot of it distracting and grating. The henchman with the broken arm is a good example, another would be during the end fight between Dalton and Knox, where the intense brutality is suddenly undercut by a moment so silly it could’ve been from a Bugs Bunny cartoon or a HOT SHOTS movie (when Knox smashes Daltons head into a piano, Dalton says “I think this piano is out of tune” and Knox answers “It sounds great to me!”).

    I also felt a lot of the dialogue came across as stilted, which wasn’t helped by the poor quality of performances across the board. Brandt, I liked him somewhat as a character but wished he was played by a different actor. Daniele Melchior was incredibly wooden and shared no chemistry with Gyllenhaal, and I’ve never seen a worse acting performance from Joaquim de Almeida than he gives here. Frankie was barely a character, there was just nothing there.

    I didn’t hate everything though. I got a real kick out of McGregor (whose acting may also be horrible, but I guess it just clicked more for me), and parts of Gyllenhaal’s performance. I don’t think you can quite call his Dalton “charming” or “cool” – he’s way too weird for that! – but he’s certainly interesting, he’s got a few funny moments, and he’s good in the fights.

    But… those fights are so few and far between, and there is so very little happening in between. I really struggled to keep my attention on the screen, kept reaching for my phone. It got a little better after Knox shows up one hour into the running time, but even then there was barely any real drive or flow to the film. As I said – clearly there was a wavelength here that works for some people, but I wasn’t on it. I honestly wish I liked it more.


    Perhaps we’ll get a spin-off with Knox, seeing as he’s still alive at the end and he just killed the son of the big boss, who we haven’t even met yet. I’ll happily watch that if it happens.

  9. The Undefeated Gaul

    March 25th, 2024 at 8:52 am

    For what it’s worth, I also didn’t notice much CGI in the fight scenes, was surprised to see Adkins talking about it on Twitter. So that’s at least one thing that didn’t bother me!

  10. I’m with Vern. I liked this one quite a bit. I thought Gyllenhaal did a great job. I loved how his “nice” seemed really genuine and goofy. Swayze’s “nice” was a thin veneer you could tell covered something you didn’t want to encounter. Both interesting takes.

    I was also wondering what all the CGI talk was about. You definitely knew it was there in the scene where he got hit by the truck and the crocodile but I thought both of those scenes were really exciting. That crocodile scene was really quite scary. I could also tell something was happening in the flight scenes but couldn’t pinpoint it and thought they mostly looked good. I got a little disoriented a couple of times but I think that was the whipping Vern mentioned.

    It wasn’t perfect. Like others I’m disappointed in how sexless it was, but that seems to be most movies nowadays. I also thought that piano line seriously thudded. It did not fit with how intense the fighting was at that point. Just a little bit earlier, though, I loved the “who taught you shapes?” line. I also wish it hadn’t been McGregor and don’t think he was good enough to justify his presence. I thought his constant smile was ridiculous and it was stupid how he did things like crash the car into the palm tree for no reason. I know the reason was to show he was a psycho agent of chaos. I just annoyed by it/him and maybe that was my real life disdain for McGregor leaking through.

    Did anyone think the ending was kind of bleak? It just seems like all of his self-doubts and self-loathing was reinforced by giving in to his violence and then being forced to leave because of it. I’m sure it’s a more realistic result and consequences of his actions but it felt kind of sad to me. It’s stuck with me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the night and the next day. In the original he got to go skinny dipping with his lady and hang out with his friend but in this one he had to leave town on a bus. I don’t know maybe I’m just seeing too much there.

  11. Eh. It’s just not worth the aggravation for me. I have been sick to death of remakes for damn near 20 years now, and I see no reason to give a chance to a phony not-even-really-a-movie piece of digital content on a film-industry-murdering streaming service owned by the world’s richest piece of shit, starring this generation’s third-or-fourth most off-putting, up-his-own ass leading man AND a fucking rapist. I got real movies to watch. I’m good.

  12. It’s a fun movie that’s a throwback more to Eastwood in the 1970’s than the original Roadhouse, with its pacing and its humour. I had a blast with it, will happily rewatch it again. Its good to see a film that is content to be a simple, modestly budgeted action flick. We need more films like this.

  13. Repenting of my usual tendency to bury the lede: I did not like this movie.

    I’m on record as a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, and I am claiming credit for dubbing him the Gyll, which sadly has yet to catch fire. I’m streets ahead on thsi one.

    He is unlikeable in this. This film is not NIGHTCRAWLER, so, why is he only 20% more likeable than NIGHTCRAWLER.

    Also, no homo and no homophobe and no homophone, but this film feels as though it’s made to replace the ROCKY HORROR picture show as some kind of queer (in the non-homophobic sense of the term) cult classic. Like it is more male body eye candy than testosterone-filled fun. These guys have great bodies. I’m jealous, etc. However, I skew not horny for guys, and so I found this off-putting, the same way maybe a skinemax joint will not appeal to someone who *is* horny for guys. At least a Skinemax joint telegraphs its inent. (Shirtless Gyll Amazon banner ad makes sense now — SIXTH SENSE moment — I should’ve seen this coming). In conclusion, if you are mostly just horny for guys and have good fast-forward and pause buttons, this movie is probably worth your time. If you are horny for guys AND like well-constructed and thought-provoking films with likable Jake Gyllenhaal performances, maybe try BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (great film, better Jake Gyllenhaal gay icon role).

    Just like with SCREAM 7, I am in the curious position of being annoyed at something for reasons other than the usual reasons that everyone else on left social media is annoyed. In the case of Connor MacGregor, he might be Caligula or Gandhi (or Gandhi-ligula for that matter) for all I know, but in this he’s just a squatty, yappy, obnoxious little fucker. I don’t care if he can beat me and my household up in real life, and I wouldn’t care if he cured cancer in real life: in this movie, he’s an unconvincing, obnoxious fucking twerp, and I don’t believe he can’t beat up the Gyll. That’s how bad and goof-looking of an action star he is: in the face of plenty of irrefutable objective evidence to the contrary, I do not believe he can beat up Jake Gyllenhaal.

    I have no prior allegiance to Swayze ROADHOUSE. Have seen it once 30+ years ago. Should see it again. This is not bad in comparison to that. It’s frustrating in comparison to the expectations it has set for itself only.

    There are so many half-developed side characters, some of which are moderately appealing on premise (e.g., the owner of the titular house de road, boat owning sage-like Asian stereotype whose dog got eaten by the croc). Gyll’s love interest, in contrast, is given much more screen time and is a dead fish.

    First 20 minutes are pretty damn good and seem to set up a film other than this bloated, random walk that shambles from one little episode to the next. It feels like a season of a potentially entertaining Magnum PI -type show crammed into 2 hours.

    SPOILERS for this AND DUNE 2…
    I did like the the wood shard stabbing (feel like DUNE 2 narrowly beat them to the purnch with the “I’ll see your stabbing and raise you me stabbing you with what you used to stab me” trick)

    Okay, more to the point and setting aside all provocation. This is just bloated, meandering, looks ugly, doesn’t give a shit about its own characters, Dalton is unlikeable. Fights are not fun. Wants us to not believe what our eyes and good sense are telling us and swallow the idea that flabby Post Malone is a fucking bad ass good-old boy. Good heavens, does this film have a dearth of good bad guys and a plethora of shitty bad guys. Can a guy who looks and sounds like he literally just emigrated from Portugal last week at age 50 become the Sheriff of a town in Florida?

    This is not actually bad, just annoying. It may grow on me with time (ROCKY HORROR never did). I gave it two stars, where three or better is “good” or better.

    BTW, LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL is pretty good. I’m not just in a shitty mood.

  14. Don’t really know enough about MacGregor to weight in on him personally, but

    A. I do approve of stunt-casting notable/weird performers as henchmen over someone as boring as, say, the Cyclops guy in No Time To Die.

    B. Hasn’t Vern spoken out on commenting on a movie review just to say you won’t watch it? Yeah, I know, let he who is without sin cast the first stone…

    C. Where was this rancor when Mike Tyson showed up in IP Man and Kickboxer?

  15. I’m probably the guiltiest party here, but these days I try to stay out of it when all I have to say is that I’m not interested, but I feel like Vern opened up the floor up for it this time so I threw in my two cents.

    And there WAS major rancor when Mike Tyson showed up in IP MAN and KICKBOXER. My position then was that he has served his time, become a better man, and should be allowed to rejoin society. MacGregor has done neither and can get fucked.

  16. Connor MacGregor in this movie makes me think of this other actor. I got to know this actor who will not be named, met him a couple of times, a leading man guy. He was a total prick, and I hated his acting and doubly hated his personality. We had a few disagreements, and he acted like a total weakling jerk about it, going behind my back, trying to hurt my career (in a different field). I never liked him, and in spite of his lively career, I don’t think many people like him either. I had actually apologized to him (a low point for me) and he kept the act going. It was petty and low.

    Eventually I saw him in a musical. I wasn’t looking forward to it; I thought he was a lousy performer. But as he opened his mouth to sing, I sat and realized, huh. He has the voice of an angel. I would have never guessed.

    So that’s how I feel about MacGregor. Terrible piece of shit. But I really enjoyed him playing an outsized shithead villain. I give him credit. I hope he now tries to turn his life around.

    And yes, Majestyk, I do agree we need to draw distinctions between people like Tyson, who have done time, and MacGregor, who has escaped any ramifications. Most importantly, I think we need to acknowledge when one asks for forgiveness, versus those who double down and refuse to repent. Personally, I find it curious how P.R. people can craft a public image for some who have escaped judgment versus those who have endured it. It’s sticky. There are no answers. But ideally, in a bubble, it’s a nice world if we all have an opportunity to show the world that we are entertaining performers in a low-pressure situation like a straight-to-streaming “Road House” remake.

    Interesting what Skani said about the homoeroticism — I think this movie needed more of it, and I think it was even less homoerotic than the original. I think maybe that’s also too academic a way of thinking of it. As has been said in this discussion, I don’t think this is sexless (though it is) as much as it’s absent of masculine energy. Women love the original “Road House” just as much as a man, and it’s because the movie is one big penis. It’s ugly, it’s violent, it’s hard but with unusually tender contours, and it has an appealing, shapely head in Patrick Swayze. By comparison, this movie is a flat, toneless butt, one in desperate need of a tan. Which is not unappealing! But it’s much less dangerous.

    Streaming services have made great movies, as we know, and they’ve also made content. This is the latter — a movie you can totally watch, or maybe see, as you flip through your phone. It never rose above mildly amusing to me. I really like Billy Magnussen, and it’s funny that in real life he’s super jacked, but here he’s basically playing a Peter Sarsgaard-type baddie, which seems like a waste (though he gets to have a “Ferrari”-level crash). Daniela Melchior is lovely, but Jake Gyllenhaal seems determined to not have chemistry with her or anyone else.

    I just don’t get Gyllenhaal. He’s like the evil Bizarro version of Nic Cage, determined to crash into every movie with a counterintuitive performance that jibes with nothing else in the film. His Dalton is chased by his past, but he’s otherwise overly happy-go-lucky (which, as has been mentioned, results in a weird downer ending for him). He doesn’t even seem all that invested in the story surrounding him — he’s still cracking disinterested jokes in the final brawl. I thought the twist would be that he leaves the movie before the third act because he’s got better things to do.

    I didn’t hate this, because it’s been designed to not be hated. It’s designed to just “be.” And I kinda hope for more, no matter what movie is being remade.

  17. Going from the above comments, there’s a wide range of reactions to this movie. Add me to the ‘liked it’ pile. I thought it was really fun. I would have seen it in theatres if I had the chance and I would have been happy with my decision.

  18. AFAIK the Raid movies used VFX to enhance the fights too. Nobody actually got their bones broken perpendicular. I’d venture the John Wicks are using cgi contact too.

    I don’t like cgi where people are just standing in front of a screen and there’s no interaction. That takes me out of the movie. But the multi pass thing just seems like an evolution of trick photography. In any responsible fight scene nobody is getting hit. They’re just shooting an optical illusion. This is still amazing performers doing physical feats but at a safe distance so they don’t injure each other.

    YMMV but as these things go I think we can all agree handheld shakey cam did NOT make fight scenes look or feel more realistic.

    In conclusion Franchise Fred approved the new Road House. (Funny enough they made press go to in person screenings so I’m among the free to see it in an actual theater!)

  19. Glaive Robber’s penis metaphor (or whatever the fuck that was) nearly justifies this film’s existence. To me, this film’s weird anti-sexuality can’t really be confined to simple labels like sexless or homerotic[1] or whatever. There is a weirdness to me in how the film is uninterested in female bodies, very interested in male bodies, but also interested in a way that seems distanced, clinical and instagrammy / photoshoppy — as opposed to feeling present and inter-subjectively vulnerable and engaged. Weirdly voyeuristic and bent. It puts the lotion on the abs or it gets stabbed in the ribs again.

    So, yeah, it feels clinical and repressed — fascinated with the male body in a way that differentiates it from being either conventionally horny or completely disinterested in carnal things. And some of this simulacrummy inhumanity carries over elsewhere. It sort of feints and pantomines at getting us emotionally involved with various characters (the bar owner, the boat owner, bookstore girl, bartender woman, broken arm kid, Dalton himself, bouncer kid, other bouncer kid) but seems to lose interest in them quickly or be afraid to take us deeper with them. Everything feels pretty transactional and even when things “get personal,” it’s not really clear why or how. The MMA flashback dream sequences are a case in point — like, they are photorealistic, flat, and descriptive. Sure, they show and don’t just tell, but what they show does not add any depth or intrigue and so aren’t much of an improvement on just telling. “Dalton has a dangerous temper.” Okay. That’s it? Why? What does he care about, fear, or love? Can he love? Why can’t he love? Can anyone in this film love? Can they even lust without layers of weird distance and sublimation? Are there emotions or yearnings that exist beyond the surface of hairtrigger rage and its consequences?

    I’m being overly tough on this film in proportion to being pretty excited about it and digging the first 20 minutes or so. I was even prepared to look past the opening gambit of stunt casting Post Malone as a bad-ass.

    [1] Having said that, if you check around Letterboxd, there is a lot of dude thirst happening around this one.

  20. You liked this more than Beekeeper? Come on, there’s no way!

  21. Honestly, I loved that movie! I had a damn good time with it. It did what a good remake should do: Take the basic elements of the original and do its own thing with it. Doesn’t matter if you watch the original first or this version, you won’t say “Eh, seen that before”.

    But seriously, some people just look for things to hate in remakes. The movie isn’t horny enough? Whatever. I actually think it’s kinda innovative that the hero and his love interest spent the movie mostly in the awkward early dating phase. The fights are CGI enhanced? Shit, they do this since the days of OLDBOY! Maybe even already a few years before that. I guess only this time someone from behind the scenes must have talked about it in public, so now everybody acts like it was some 90s TV CGI cartoon shit on XENA level*. He befriends a teenage girl? She was in three scenes with him. It’s not like she became his spunky sidekick who dropped soon-to-be-outdated popculture references and awkward teen slang all the time.

    Also it’s 2024. Are we really still doing this “LOL, shirtless men gay” thing?

    Honestly, my biggest problem was that McGregor guy. No, not THAT, although that wasn’t helpful. (I had never heard of him before the trailer hit and people started talking about him and the shit he did.) But I can’t really get on board with his acting.I do agree that it is a fun character, but there was something really “Look at me, how hard I try to be crazy” about the way he had this weird grimace on his face whenever he was on screen, and how stiff he walked and moved outside of his fightscenes. It’s like that guy really believed he was a character actor who made interesting choices, yet he is only qualified as a stuntman. (I mean, John Cena sucked in his first movies too, so I try not to be too hard on first time acting musclemen.)

    So yeah. Good movie. Enjoyed it a lot.

    *The only problem that I had was that they really did a shit job on hiding cuts. Every fight had at least two or three takes that were artificially extended, but you could always see where they spliced it together. That was a bit distracting, although I love the overall visual style, that felt like the whole movie was shot on camera drones.

  22. Vern, given you and Nathan Rabin have been the only two critics write positively on this from what I’ve read and the division on it in the comments I’m ready to watch this one asap where before I was like meh I’ll just watch Roadhouse classic.

  23. Majestyk, I will let you know that my girlfriend was watching this today, and while I wasn’t really watching it with her (I work from home) I overheard the hero getting several funny moments based on his casual indifference to the villains’ doomed attempts to physically threaten him.

    It reminded me of similar humor in HE NEVER DIED. And I know I’m the guy who said that about PIG but I think this movie (from what I distantly caught of it) might be a closer comparison.

    If the lead actor is someone you can’t stand, if one of the costars has a distracting real-life history (which I wasn’t aware of before reading this review, not being a wrestling person myself) and if the movie’s current status as a new release makes it seem like something to argue about more than enjoy, then those are all valid reasons to steer away from it, at least in the short term.

    But if any of that stuff dies down at some point, I think there’s a decent chance you might derive some casual enjoyment from it. I’m considering giving it a proper watch myself at some point, as the bits I overheard caught my interest.

  24. Am a little pressed for time now, so will post my own meandering thoughts later, but will say, thankfully, this DIDN’T turn out to be the disaster on par with that OTHER remake of a beloved Swayze action classic.

    It also ended up being exactly what I predicted it would be: A serviceable one-time lazy Sunday streamer watch that’ll be forgotten in a week (being generous here).

    NOBODY’s going to be fondly remembering this version through a nostalgia-haze 30 years from now.

    And for all of Liman’s bleating about this not getting a cinema release, having watched it, this is strictly streaming content level, on a budget to boot. If he thinks this is on a cinematic par with THE BOURNE IDENTITY, MR AND MRS SMITH, EDGE OF TOMORROW or even AMERICAN MADE, he’s got a concussion nobody told him about.

  25. BTW, the good folks at Paste put together a lost of action remakes.

    I didn’t realize it was this dire!

  26. Petehammer – Although I liked the movie I think I would have to warn you against it. He’s not in it the whole time but his fight is the climax of the movie and when he’s going around causing trouble before that some of it is the type of shit he does in real life.

    Justin – That was a good one and shares some of the things I like about this one, such as an effective douchebag villain. I think the choreography and shooting of the fight scenes is better here, and I think it works better as an action movie since he puts up a fight and go through things emotionally. I love the absurdity and symbolism of the Beekeeper being able to easily defeat a troop of heavily armed guys in armor with no weapons, protection or effort, but by the time he was also able to hold a gun on the president of the United States and just walk away it was more of a fun goof than an effective action movie. But I absolutely understand why you would prefer THE BEEKEEPER.

    Curt – You have a point there, I think many of Dalton’s interactions with goons would be right up Majestyk’s alley, but I’m not sure that would overpower the other things he’s concerned about (especially since he says he doesn’t like Gyllenhaal).

  27. I don’t HATE Gyllenhaal. He just doesn’t do much for me. His performances are usually really extra without actually adding much extra value. But it’s possible I just haven’t seen the ones he’s really good in, since those aren’t really my type of movies. In any case, he’s the least of my objections. I’m sure he’s fine.

    Curt hit the nail on the head with his assessment of the main problem. This movie’s a new release, plus it’s controversial, so that means if I see it I gotta have a take on it, and ugh. Fuck that. I am so not in that zone right now. I’m watching Ginger Rogers movies, you guys. 50s hot rod flicks. I’m making my way through the filmography of Jack Arnold. I just watched his Audie Murphy western tonight. (NO NAME ON THE BULLET. It’s really good! Sort of a proto HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER. I think you guys would dig it.) Now I gotta watch more Audie Murphy movies. Every day, I keep discovering new rabbit holes to go down. The new and shiny movie everybody’s arguing about holds little appeal at the moment. Hopefully, some day in the not too distant future, when The Discourse has completely forgotten there even was a ROAD HOUSE remake, I’ll check it out and probably like at least some of it. But right now? Feels like homework.

  28. Robert Anderson

    March 25th, 2024 at 9:59 pm

    Within minutes you could tell why it skipped theaters. There’s nothing interesting or different about it. They couldn’t even get the ending right. I realize some will like it which is fine. It just wasn’t anything that held my attention. It did manage to be slightly better than the Point Break remake which was easily no stars. At least this was one. Morale of the story… Do better Hollywood, or better yet don’t remake a movie that didn’t demand one.

  29. I was a bit apprehensive about this remake initially as I also love the original one – but I actually really enjoyed it… I am fully aligned with Vern’s review – I think they kept the good balance between respecting and referencing the original, and doing something new. And i did really enjoy Gyllenhaal… he is a very interesting actor and it was fun to see him go for that type of role in such a detached relaxed kind of way. I tend to really enjoy Doug Liman’s work – and I do wish this movie could have been seen on the big screen. I miss that type of fun/action/popcorn film on the big screen nowadays… they could even do a franchise out of this – the Jack Reacher of bouncers… travelling the US and cleaning up bars in dodgy places… how fun would that be!!!

    On the debate around MacGregor, it is a difficult one… I also struggle on where to draw the line when dealing with celebrities who are known assholes… should we never watch a Mel Gibson movie again? Should we boycott any movie with Ezra Miller? What about Roman Polanski? etc… my struggle is that a movie is always a work of many people and not necessarily just the work of that asshole guy… but again… there is more to it. Just to say that it was interesting to read the different views here in the comments, and I can see that no one has a clear answer on how to approach it…

  30. Hi guys, let me get my 2 cents in as well.
    First of all, I had a good time a’la Vern with the movie. Even had a good time with McGregors baddie, who’s introduced with the bravado and camp-how badass is he-attitude dialed up to 11.

    What kept the movie to a 6 for me instead of a “beekeeper 8” was =

    Atrocious cinematography. Piss colored instead of warm sunny colors throughout with a distinctive digital look. Damn shame from Liman who’s given us truly cinema worthy looks on many movies.

    REALLY BAD cgi contacts on a few occasions, which for me at least, take you right out of the movie and the likes of which I had not seen before. If you need an example, go back to the first post Malone fight and see him giving a punch with the contact and head movement of the guy being hit being totally looney tunes. Exact feeling as that new Charlie’s angels movie where an angel digitally changes position. With the caveat that in Charlie’s Angels I saw that from the slow motion on YouTube videos lamenting on it. Here its atrociously obvious the FEW times it happens while playing in regular speed.

    Too many tries for “different angles” in action scenes to the detriment of the action. Either changing to POV for no reason, or obviously digital stitching takes to create a supposedly seamless 180 or 360 shot, many times the action would have been better and clearer and more fun if shot more traditionally.

    The blow up of the luxury taught and end of the boat chase both become a greenscreen and fake fire extravaganza. Never a good look on an action movie when the movie has ONE FRICKIN’ EXPLOSION and it’s done totally cg and totally unconvincing.

    Even so, the humor “got” to me and my girlfriend and we had a good time with the movie. Too bad it didn’t get to re-watchable status but just to “good time, forget it afterwards”.

  31. Not related at all: Vince, if you haven’t already, may I suggest you some time soon start watching Randolph Scott movies. If you like one, you will most likely like all of of them.

  32. “Too many tries for “different angles” in action scenes to the detriment of the action. Either changing to POV for no reason, or obviously digital stitching takes to create a supposedly seamless 180 or 360 shot, many times the action would have been better and clearer and more fun if shot more traditionally.”

    Counterpoint: The movie did a great job of putting you inside the chaos of a brawl, while letting you clearly see what is going on. I agree about the bad job when it comes to extending shots, but it felt like a Greengrass movie from a parallel universe where Greengrass knows that movies are a visual medium and audiences are supposed to see what is happening on screen.

  33. Audie Murphy is hard as fuck

    may I suggest you some time soon start watching Randolph Scott movies.

    Criterion just put out that Randown box set. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include Seven Men from Now or Westbound — as those weren’t official Randown productions — but the five Scott/Boetticher movies it does have are all ill.

    AFAIK the Raid movies used VFX to enhance the fights too.

    Ha! You think?
    That whole ‘thing’ is dum. Literally hundreds of movies have CG enhancements to the fights, some really poor/obvious (like The Raid). If you want to hate the movie, hate the movie. You don’t have to invent ‘issues’.

  34. Billydeethrilliams

    March 26th, 2024 at 6:20 am

    Majestyk- Are you writing about these discoveries anywhere? I’m a lurker but I’ve always checked out your comments and respect your opinion. And No Name On The Bullet is very good indeed.

  35. Randolph Scott is a name I’ve heard but know nothing about. Where do you guys think I should start? Preferably something with a dynamite leading lady. I’ve found that, with certain exceptions, the actresses add a lot more to my enjoyment of Golden Age cinema than the men do.

  36. Mr. Dee Thrilliams: Thanks for the kind words. I am not currently writing about movies anywhere except here. I used to write movie reviews a long time ago but I don’t really feel the urge anymore. At the time, I was slacking on my fiction writing so that energy had to go somewhere, but now I am always working on one story or another and I find I only have so many words in me per day. But I am excited about this new Old Hollywood journey I’m on so maybe I should think about doing something with that.

    If you want to check out my old reviews, which are mostly weird exploitation movies of the 70s and 80s, here’s the link. I probably wouldn’t do them this way today (the combined Vern/Joe Bob influence is almost painfully obvious, in my opinion) but they have their fans.


  37. Billydeethrilliams

    March 26th, 2024 at 8:13 am

    Majestyk- thanks for sharing, I’ll check those out. I also wish you well with your writing, I understand that it’s difficult and there’s only so much energy to give a project. I can’t even get past a basic outline so who am I to talk.

    Regarding Scott, from what I’ve seen the ladies weren’t exactly dynamic characters. It was more about the relationships between the heroes and villains. At least with his more well known work.

  38. Randolph Scott is a name I’ve heard but know nothing about. Where do you guys think I should start? Preferably something with a dynamite leading lady.

    The Tall T
    Co-written with Elmore Leonard co-starring Maureen O’Sullivan (aka Jane)

  39. Oh yeah, she’ll do. I’m on it. Thanks.

    Turns out I actually have a couple Randolph Scott movies in my collection, unwatched: SHE and MY FAVORITE WIFE. Though I gather those are not really the kinds of movies he made his name on.

  40. I think it’s a legit comment jojo makes about “inventing issues,” and it maybe parallels CJ’s comment about people “look[ing] for things to hate” in movies, but I do this business about being mad at “CGI” fights is maybe not getting a full or proper airing. I liked the slap fight when he first arrives at the ROAD HOUSE. Was there CG in it? I don’t know. I liked it. I felt those slaps. I liked that he chose to slap them. I didn’t like the other fights as much, because the hyper-stylized quality felt distracting and show-offy (kind of along lines PetrosMT’s comment), and because Connor MacGregor himself felt weird and distracting and show-offy — not because CGI is bad in principle, but because it feels stylistically or tonally cartoonish or graphic novelly or something like that in a way that makes it seem tonally / narratively not just visually weightless or non-sensical. Again, the slap fight is a good contrast, whether there was or was not CGI snuck in there somehow.

    Anyway, I watched this movie with the intention and hope of enjoying it, and since I have enjoyed several other Gyllenhaal films in the past and several non-Gyllenhaal films in the past week alone, I think it’s a genuine case of “have my own subjective viewpoint and inner life that differs from yours and like to express it in all its shagginess” vs. “has taken up full-time hater-ism just to harsh your buzz for sport.” I’m genuinly glad for anyone who enjoyed this one, and I hope we get another one that I like better for whatever reasons, because I like Gyll and baddies getting their comeuppance and having fun.

  41. SHE and MY FAVORITE WIFE. Though I gather those are not really the kinds of movies he made his name on.

    Yeah, She is… She (there’s like six versions of it, you’re probably familiar with the Ursula Andress/Peter Cushing one from ’65)
    My Favorite Wife is a Cary Grant/Irene Dunne comedy that he’s barely in (he was only in it as an excuse to pal around with Grant, as they were housemates at the time)

  42. I am actually more familiar with the 1984 Sandahl Bergman version. The DVD I have is the 1935 one, colorized (though I probably won’t watch that version) with a Ray Harryhausen commentary. I just got nearly to the end of my Harryhausen retrospective (just have GULLIVER and ANIMAL WORLD left) so I figured I’d check that one out in the near future. I’ve only owned the disc for a decade. It’s time.

  43. If you’re toe-dipping into the Randolph Scott oeuvre, I can recommend Susannah Of The Mounties, a 1939 Western he co-starred along with America’s No 1 Pint Sized Box Office Dynamite at that time, Shirley Temple.

  44. I think Liman’s an underrated action director and I like Gyllenhall, so i will watch this eventually.

    But more importantly, I just watched Polite Society and wanted to see if Vern loved it as much as I did… But he didn’t review it! Have you seen it Vern? I was delighted by the way it fit martial arts and action movie tropes into its specific cultural and comedic context. Especially its spin on the “villain captures/tortures hero while describing their evil plan,” I was crying laughing at that bit. It was the most purely enjoyable movie from start-to-finish I have watched in a long time.

  45. Majestyk, you can’t get them more dynamitic than Karen Steele. Try Westbound and Ride Lonesome. The first one also has Virginia Mayo in the mix. But really any Scott movie from the late 40s to Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country from the early 60s will do.

  46. Adam C – No, I haven’t seen POLITE SOCIETY yet, but I would like to. Thanks for the encouragement.

  47. (I was going to recommend Ride Lonesome initially, but most people haven’t heard of Steele, and I figured the Elmore Leonard presence trumps Lee Van Cleef and James Coburn. But ultimately, it probably doesn’t matter because if you watch one, you’re probably going to watch the other.)

  48. POLITE SOCIETY was THE best thing I saw in a theatre last year. Adam C, if it’s the comedy that worked for you, do check out Nida Manzoor’s sitcom We Are Lady Parts, about a female Muslim punk band – my favourite song being Voldemort Under My Headscarf! I think it was on Peacock.

  49. An absolutely terrible film, even for a remake… Plotless, pointless, soulless. Flat, personality-free “hero”, other characters taken from the groups – “dull”, “stupid” or “annoying”, all with the touch of “antipathetic”. Some squeaky-voiced, bearded clown of a numpty as the tough enemy. Nonsensical flashback sequences for no reason but to make it longer, no “roadhouse” at all – just some weird open straw hut without walls, instead of that wonderfully exotic giant US barn of the original. No growling old cowboy mentor. Some pathetic snot-nosed tosser, who was apparently supposed to be the equivalent of Ben Gazzara…

    And, worst of all, no “nice”. Remake “Roadhouse” and not be nice? Lord have mercy.

  50. I think even I, who thought the remake was great, would’ve felt it was very empty to have Gyllenhaal repeat the famous speech. What would be the point of it? What chance do you think there is that you would’ve liked that part? I think lower than zero. It would’ve been a bad idea. Just having the little reference was risky enough. Not redoing the same shit to make people say “oh yes, I recognize that from the other one” was one of the many smart decisions they made.

  51. Jumping in to very strongly second POLITE SOCIETY, as well as SEVEN MEN FROM NOW.

    In other news I thought RH2024 was mostly fine – probably helped a lot I knew nothing about McGregor when I saw it. This actually reminded me a lot of some of Statham’s mid tier films… so much that at times I could almost see them having CG’d the Gyll over Stath in post.

    POLITE SOCIETY though…

  52. @Borg9
    When I finished Polite Society I looked up the writer/director and immediately added We Are Lady Parts to my queue. Sounds fantastic, just waiting for a chance to watch it with my wife (who also loved Polite Society). And yeah, I think I liked PS more than everything I have seen from 2023 other than Godzilla Minus One.

    Ooh, you are in for a treat! Since we are well past the release window, I suggest waiting to catch up with Polite Society until the next time you have a run of particularly depressing movies (whether due to grim subject matter or just shitty movie making). It is exactly the kind of film that can put a smile on your face and reassure you that there are young filmmakers out there who love all the old action shit we love, but want to make it feel fresh and personal to their experience and vision.

  53. It’s taken 20 years, but Vern finally agrees with me that it was a good idea to not have a dinner scene in the TEXAS CHAINSAW remake.

  54. It’s weird, yesterday someone asked me if a throat gets ripped out in the remake and when I told him that the movie is thankfully not interested in just playing the greatest hits from the original, he was disappointed. As if he wouldn’t be mad if this would be just a shot for shot remake.

  55. And then someone would probably say “Why remake movies anyway?” and I would probably say “I don’t know, but I saw a really fun action movie where Jake Gyllenhaal plays an asskicker who tries not to fight unless he has to and even then makes sure his opponents are taken care of afterwards unless they really piss him off and I’m glad it exists, no matter if it’s losely based on another movie or not.”

  56. I mean, this is the price they pay for relentless IP exploitation. Sure, more people will watch your remake of BRAND X because it’s called BRAND X and not NEW BUT SIMILAR MOVIE, but most people who will watch BRAND X because it’s BRAND X have strong opinions about what makes BRAND X BRAND X, so most of those who watch it will not be happy with it, whereas if it had gone out as NEW BUT SIMILAR MOVIE, fewer people would watch it but those that did would have a much better chance of enjoying it on its own terms. But since all the people who make our movies don’t care if we like them but just that, one way or another, we pay for them, they don’t really care. Our enjoyment is not a factor in their business plan, merely our consumption. It doesn’t matter for those who can recognize the brand exploitation for what it is and appreciate each remake for its own attributes, but that’s not the customer base these Ellises have trained. When most people go to McDonald’s, they expect a Big Mac to be a Big Mac. All ingredients must be accounted for: Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, the “Be Nice” speech and a throat-ripping on a sesame seed bun. Anything the slightest bit different and it’s not a Big Mac anymore.

  57. Majestyk – That apparent contradiction had actually occurred to me, but I think the reason it’s different is because the dinner scene is the climax and the part where all the characters come together and bounce off each other. It’s not just a cool part of the movie, it’s the linchpin to the whole story. So it’s not as much “they didn’t have the famous scene” as “the whole thing collapses when you don’t have that scene.” If they had found an alternate way to have the family together as everything boils over I wouldn’t have had a problem with it.

  58. I agree that a scene that performed the same function as the dinner scene without actually being the dinner scene would have been the best solution.

  59. I thought this was fine and in some ways better than I expected, but I didn’t like the look of a number of the fights where it felt like the blending of multiple take gave them a strange and unnatural look.

  60. This movie was surprisingly good. So fun it wasn’t even an issue that the aaction was the weakest shit in it. I didn’t know that about CG generated fights, but I did notice how weird and videogamey it looked…now I guess I know why. The OG is terrible in most ways except the fights are surprisingly good for an 80s American flick, and this was the opposite.

  61. Count me in for Team Fine. Gyllenhaal is good, Lyman does a decent job with the action and the digital effects didn’t bother me overmuch. I had no idea who McGregor was until reading all this, but I find it interesting that the film seems to be trolling the audience by making his rap sheet remarkably similar to his on screen crimes. A shame about the end credit sequence.

    But “but I liked it more than any non-JOHN WICK or M:I theatrically released Hollywood action movie of recent years I can think of.” Really? I mean that’s a subjective judgement so I can’t argue about it, but it feels wrong – subjectively – to me. At best, it reflects the weird times we’ve lived through and the way so much good action – EXTRACTION, BOSS LEVEL – has been sidelined to streaming services. Are we saying EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE isn’t an action movie? Because I, for one, will be sorry if it doesn’t show up on all those best-of-the-century lists we’re gonna see next year. But let’s say it’s a fantasy, not a meat and potatoes action movie, did WRATH OF MAN or NOBODY not get US cinema releases?

  62. A non-conclusive survey of the women in my family seems to indicate that McGregor was the main draw here. They have absolutely no knowledge of his many crimes, but think he’s hot, while I couldn’t pick him out of a line-up but only know him as some asshole who says racist shit, punched out an elderly man, and sexually assaults everyone he meets.

    We’re living in confusing times.

  63. Borg9 – I wouldn’t rate EEAAO against straight ahead action movies, but if I did, yeah, I liked it better. NOBODY and WRATH OF MAN, yes, I liked those as much or better than ROADHOUSE, and 2021 qualifies as a recent year, but those did not come to mind at the time.

    And I’m sure there are plenty more you could get me with. But if you had said PLANE, AMBULANCE, SILENT NIGHT, OPERATION FORTUNE, BULLET TRAIN, even some I enjoyed like THE PROTEGE, THE MARKSMAN, FAST X, or EQUALIZER 3, yeah, I think I liked this better.

  64. Thanks, Vern. I knew neither one of us was crazy. Really interested to see your review of MONKEY MAN now.

  65. I don’t want to malign the Majestyk family, but are you serious? That bow-legged leprechaun? Did they see Gyllenhaal in this?

  66. In my family, there are a few females who find The Gyll’s chiseled bod and puppy dog eyes doing nothing for them, dubbing him a Pretty Boy while preferring the McGregor type i.e looking like a Yob on his 10th Pub Crawl.

    Filed under Reason #342 why I don’t get Women.

  67. https://lwlies.com/articles/road-house-remake-original/

    Pretty enjoyable article comparing the original to the remake.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>