Prime Video movie of the day: Road House is an action-packed remake of the ’80s cult classic

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When the news of a Road House remake was announced, fans of the original movie (including some on the TechRadar team) weren’t exactly happy. The ’80s film, which starred Patrick Swayze, is one of those good/bad movies that attracts a very devoted following – and that following wasn’t keen on anybody stepping into Swayze’s shoes. But the remake turns out to be more than just a photocopy; as The Guardian says, it’s both rowdy and campy.

The 2024 version stars Jake Gyllenhall as Elwood Dalton, a bouncer with a dark past, and moves the setting from Missouri to the Florida Keys. There, Elwood makes a living from amateur fights with the likes of Post Malone and ends up working at the titular road house. And that’s where the action happens.

What is Road House about?

I like The Guardian’s review, which says that “the Road House attracts a disproportionate amount of shady characters with hair-trigger rages, and employs a disproportionately high number of good musicians to soundtrack nightly bar fights from behind a chain-link fence.” That’s the setup for a lot of fights, including some particularly impressive work by UFC champion Conor McGregor.

How much you enjoy Road House really depends on what you’re expecting from it. If you’re looking for a contemplative investigation into the roots of male violence, this is not the film for you. But if you want what Empire magazine calls “a total riot” where fists fly and guitars wail, you’re going to have a great time: it’s “perfect for a super-fun night in”. 

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Unlike the original, Road House is well aware of its own ridiculousness and revels in it: director Doug Liman is clearly having a great time with his incredibly choreographed mass brawls, as is the cast, and Jake Gyllenhall in particular is superb in what could easily have been a cardboard cutout of a role. As Empire says, “As cheesy as it may sound, this Dalton really is a new kind of action hero, as caring and sensitive as he is ruthlessly violent when he needs to be.”

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