March 21, 2024

GENRE | Jake Gyllenhaal Drop Kicks 'Road House' x SXSW 2024

"No one ever wins a fight."
Jake Gyllenhaal Daniela Melchior Doug Liman | Road House 2024 | Amazon Prime Video | SXSW 2024
SXSW Film & TV Festival
A totally jacked Jake Gyllenhaal takes over Patrick Swayze's iconic 1989 role of the soft-spoken bouncer with a heart of gold in action director Doug Liman's MMA-fied remake of Road House. Gyllenhall's Dalton plays an ex-UFC fighter with unresolved demons who takes a job protecting a highway bar in a crime-filled Florida Keys beach town.

Surrounding him are Daniela Melchior, Billy Magnussen, Jessica Williams, and Irish mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor in his film debut as Floridians helping or hurting Dalton's quest to protect the titular bar while racking up a high body count. Most of their characters are well-worn archetypes used purely to move things along into some dizzying ass-kicking fare.

Scripted by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, this Road House invests in its '80-90s-era action movie tropes about a quiet stranger coming into town to protect the local inhabitants, usually a criminal kingpin of some sort, in a star-driven genre piece. It's also refreshing, albeit probably wildly unrealistic for something set in South Florida, how insignificant guns play a role in the film's violence.

Liman turns Road House into another silly action romp that further highlights Gyllenhaal's star power. From what was already a bizarre studio movie that could have only been produced in the '80s comes a frenetic reimagining that's not quite as ridiculous but is close enough.

Road House premiered as the opening film of the 2024 South by Southwest Film & TV Festival (Austin, Texas) as part of the Headliners section and is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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