Popcorn Reviewss

White thumbnail popcorn reviewss
popcorn reviewss banner
White thumbnail popcorn reviewss

Road House

Vishesh Jaiswal Featured Writer
Vishesh Jaiswal
3 Star popcorn reviewss


I am always sold for good, solid action movies. And having been a fan of the original Roadhouse (1989), starring Patrik Swayze, I really wanted to see what direct Doug Liman could bring to the table. More than anything I wanted to see what Jake Gyllenhaal could do in an out and out actioner. I am not disappointed on either of those fronts. Road House is not a Mission Impossible-esque action film. The world is not at stake, a bar is. It’s not trotting the globe, it’s set in a small town in Florida Keys. But it still manages to excite and entertain. Just how it manages to do it, read on to find out.

Story & Screenplay

An ex UFC fighter Elwood Dalton (a magnificent Jake Gyllenhaal), running from his past, is making a living by scamming fighters in the underground fight circuit. He is soon recruited by Frankie (Jessica Williams) to become a bouncer at her roadhouse in Florida Keys. With nothing better to do, Dalton travels to this sleepy little beach town. Soon, he runs into goons trying to destroy Road House (yes, that’s what the roadhouse is called, an irony not lost on the writers), and swiftly disposes of them. The only problem, however, there are bigger fish trying to take over Road House for their nefarious plans.

Who are these bigger fish, you ask? It’s of course the son of an incarcerated crime boss, Ben Brandt (Billy Magnussen) who will stop at nothing to take over Road House to destroy it. When his usual goons (JD Pardo and others) can’t get the job done, Ben enlists the help of the notorious Knox (Conor McGregor) to do the needful. Unlike, Dalton who is a sane man (for the most part) who can throw a punch or two, Knox is a beast masquerading as a man. What happens when these two alphas collide, is what forms the crux of the story.

Writers Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry keep the proceedings light, and yet intense. A scene where Dalton beats the living daylights out of a gang is quickly followed by a scene of Dalton (hilariously) driving the gang to the hospital. The screenplay gives us enough to know about Dalton, and yet not enough to keep him mysterious. The action is interspersed very smartly. In fact, for a good 40 minutes in the middle portion of the film, Dalton doesn’t engage in any fights, instead, teaching the staff of the roadhouse how to fight off unruly guests. All of this builds up the anticipation of us wanting to Dalton finally throwing punches. The ghosts from Dalton’s past are also well connected to his present. And explains what he is exactly afraid of. Once you realise what it was, that Dalton was trying to avoid, you will have no option but to cheer from him and watch on in anticipation. The writing is that crisp.

Direction And Action

Doug Liman (Mr and Mrs Smith, Jumper, Edge of Tomorrow) is already a veteran in the action genre. So it’s no surprise to see him not miss a beat. The template is as old as time itself – an outsider coming to a small town to save the good folks from the bad. In fact, even Sholay (1975) is roughly based on the same premise. But Liman’s handling of the subject is so sublime, that he manages to get the best out of every scene possible. That’s not to say Road House is perfect. The simple premise, at times, feels a bit TOO simple. And you wish there were, perhaps, a few more layers of intrigue in it. The characters (except Dalton) are fairly one dimensional. Even a guy like Knox, who is immediately interesting the moment he walks into the movie (naked), is given a one note character (be loud, be brash, break things). Liman could’ve done better to give some of the other characters some meat. The worst angle in the movie is the rushed love story between Dalton and Ellie (Daniela Melchior). It almost feels like an after thought. However, Liman’s world building, as always remains top notch. And his ability to infuse humor into intense situations is next to only Guy Ritchie. The action of the movie is relentless and fast paced. Even though, in some scenes (especially the boat scenes), the excessive use of CGI is very obvious. The hand to hand sequences are some of the best we’ve seen in recent times. If you love true blue, hardcore action, you will not be disappointed.


I was excited to see Conor McGregor (finally) make his acting debut, in what is essentially a role playing a version of himself. Needless to say, McGregor does a good job of it (can we please have a Knox spinoff movie?). I am intrigued to see what McGregor does next. He has it in him to become the next menacing villain, but can he play a variety of roles? It remains to be seen. Daniela Melchior has the typical role of a woman who is the voice of reason in a testesterone fueled town. She doesn’t have much to do, but she is easy on screen. Billy Magnussen is sufficiently annoying as the cowardly Ben. Jessica Williams as Frankie and Lukas Gage as Billy are likeable. The rest of the cast also do their (fairly simple) jobs well. Which brings us to the star of the show, Jake Gyllenhaal. We’ve seen him slip into the skins of several characters in his career so far, and this one’s no different. Gyllenhaal makes you believe that he is an ex UFC fighter who can kill you if he wants. It’s a regal performance, which is made even more impressive by how jacked (pun fully intended) Gyllenhaal looks. Take a bow!


Road House is a faithful and entertaining remake of the original, which keeps you engaged throughout. It’s a must watch if you’re an action (or Jake Gyllenhaal) fan. Now streaming on Prime Video.

Latest Posts

error: Content is protected !!