Road House Movie Review:
The 1989 action flick “Road House” has achieved cult status over the years thanks to Patrick Swayze’s magnetic lead performance and the film’s unapologetic B-movie entertainment value. Now, Doug Liman is set to give the beloved movie a modern reimagining with Jake Gyllenhaal stepping into Swayze’s shoes. Set for release on March 8, 2024, this new “Road House” aims to pay homage to the original while also updating the story for modern audiences.
As a huge fan of the original, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this remake. The talent attached both in front of and behind the camera inspires confidence that this new take could recapture the magic of the first film while also standing on its own. Let’s look at what we know about the 2024 “Road House” remake.
Plot and Story Details
According to early synopses, the basic plot of the new “Road House” will follow a similar storyline to the original. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as James Dalton, a tough bouncer hired to provide security at a rowdy roadside bar. But Dalton discovers that this bar, the Double Deuce, is a more dangerous gig than he expected. The town is controlled by a corrupt businessman named Brad Wesley (Billy Magnussen), who profits off the bar’s violent chaos.
Dalton takes it upon himself to not just tame the unruly Double Deuce but rid the town of Wesley’s tyrannical grip. Of course, Wesley doesn’t plan on giving up his power without a fight. Cue the expected barrage of intense, brutal action sequences.
The screenplay comes from Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry, who previously collaborated on the 2021 Bob Odenkirk action vehicle “Nobody.” So they know how to craft hard-hitting action set pieces balanced with gritty humor and flashes of heart.
Jake Gyllenhaal Leads a Killer Cast
Filling Patrick Swayze’s shoes is no easy task, but Jake Gyllenhaal has proven himself one of this generation’s most dynamic leading men. Whether in acclaimed dramas like “Nightcrawler” and “Stronger” or big-budget spectacles like the upcoming “Prophet”, Gyllenhaal brings an intensity and commitment perfect for Dalton’s role.
Flanking Gyllenhaal is an eclectic mix of rising stars and veteran character actors. Daniela Melchior broke out as Ratcatcher 2 in 2021’s “The Suicide Squad” and seems poised to cement herself as an action movie favorite. Irish star Conor McGregor will bring real fighting cred as Dalton’s ally. And Arturo Castro.
Doug Liman Directing With Style
In the director’s chair, Doug Liman feels like an inspired choice. With a filmography ranging from “The Bourne Identity” to “Edge of Tomorrow” to even 2017’s underrated “American Made”, Liman knows how to craft kinetic action sequences augmented by a clever visual style.
Early footage suggests Liman is taking advantage of the New Orleans production location to give this “Road House” remake atmosphere and grit. If the final product lives up to Liman’s track record, the action set pieces alone could make this a must-see.
Can Lightning Strike Twice?
Remaking beloved cult movies is always risky. For every success like 2018’s “A Star is Born”, there are a dozen failures akin to the misguided 2012 redo of “Total Recall.” At first glance, attempting to recreate such an iconic performance as Patrick Swayze’s Dalton seems folly.
But the assemblance of talent here is impressive and the choice to rework the story rather than replicate it beat-for-beat is wise. Jake Gyllenhaal can command the screen as leading man Dalton. Doug Liman has repeatedly proven his action filmmaking chops. And updates like a New Orleans setting and casting actual fighters like Conor McGregor hint at a film trying to stand apart rather than coast on nostalgia.
Of course, only the March 8th release will reveal if this modern “Road House” can live up to its predecessor’s beloved reputation. But as a longtime fan excited for some rowdy bar action, I’m optimistic! There’s enough talent onboard to potentially make this remake a worthy companion to the original cult classic rather than an inferior retread. We shall see soon if “Road House 2024” can recapture the same magic that made “Road House 1989” such an enduring favorite.