Road house
Road house

Frankie, the owner of a roadhouse, enlists the help of Elwood Dalton, who used to be a UFC fighter, to fight back against violence by some gangsters. Dalton manages to subdue them but their victory is short-lived as Knox shows up.

Review: In any Doug Liman film there are certain hallmarks: epic action set pieces, breakneck pacing, and an archetypal hero. ‘Road House’ takes its inspiration from the 1989 movie starring Patrick Swayze and never disappoints when it comes to entertainment value, it remains fun from start to finish. This gritty action thriller vividly illustrates what happens when you break someone’s hyoid bone with sounds of bones snapping punctuating the narrative. Yet beneath this revenge-driven plot lies a story about humanity which manifests itself through the father-daughter team running a bookshop together. Although its storyline may seem simple and predictable at first glance, Liman’s adept direction turns it into an utterly enjoyable cinematic experience.

The plot of Road House revolves around Elwood Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal), a former UFC champion haunted by a violent event that saw him accidentally kill an opponent during a match. Struggling to leave his past behind him, Dalton still bears the weight of his name. When Frankie (Jessica Williams), who runs a roadhouse in Glass Keys offers him employment as her bouncer, he sees it as his chance for redemption. Frankie primarily wants to protect her roadhouse from Ben Brandt (Billy Magnussen) who has plans on razing it down and erecting another concrete building instead. However, things go wrong after Knox (Conor McGregor), whose father is in prison with Ben enters.

It is clear that this film does not take itself too seriously and that the screenplay has been rewritten in order to be more relatable to today’s audience while maintaining its core essence. It retains most of the original plot while combining a contemporary outlook. The fights are beautifully choreographed thus making them realistic in nature. Even though the plot is not as complex, Doug Liman clearly understands what the film is all about. With corrupt cops, drugs, a caring doctor, and an almost super-hero protagonist, it gives a great experience that is thrilling. It is more of a roller coaster than anything else with very little time for thinking as action and music dominate the screen.

The presence of Jake Gyllenhaal makes the movie quite compelling. Gyllenhaal brings his acting chops to bear on this one, fusing his performance seamlessly with exhilarating action scenes that heighten the excitement of the film. As an ex-UFC fighter who has chosen silence; he played his part well particularly when he was shirtless in several fight scenes against Conor McGregor. However, it is Conor McGregor’s portrayal of Knox during the second half of Road House that almost steals the show. The UFC champion makes an exciting debut by adding extra spunk to the movie.

However, despite its weaknesses in cinematography and mediocre lighting, Road House has a close-to-the-edge plot, gripping action sequences, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s intense performance, which compensates for the poor lighting. This is the best example of many movies that were made during this time period. Some films such as “Road House” are simply better viewed without much thought put into them. Entertainment is the only thing they think about, thus making it live up to its billing as ‘Road House’. His role in this movie is convincing as an intellectual who can fight with no weapons is enough reason to watch it.

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