SYNOPSIS: In this adrenaline-fueled reimagining of the 80s cult classic, ex-UFC fighter Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes a job as a bouncer at a Florida Keys roadhouse, only to discover that this paradise is not all it seems. 


This remake of the 1989’s Patrick Swayze starrer was mired with a series of controversies even before its release on Amazon Prime. Google it if you have the time. Despite the complications, it’s a simplistic action vehicle made for action fans and the masses.

After starring as a ripped boxer in Southpaw, Jake Gyllenhaal returns with his abs portraying a former UFC fighter, Elwood Dalton who is being hired by the owner of a roadhouse in Florida Keys as a bouncer to rid the place of troublemakers.

While taking out a local goon named Dell and his followers, Dalton finds time to romance a doctor (Daniela Melchoir) and also incur the wrath of a powerful mafia boss, Ben Brandt (Billy Magnussen) who has plans to turn the land in which the roadhouse resides on into a massive casino resort.

Doug Liman who never receive enough credit for starting the ultra-successful Bourne Identity franchise helmed this remake. And while Liman has his fair share of onscreen hits and misses fortunately knows how not to take the material too seriously as Road House (2024) delivers with a good balance of cartoonish violence and masculine energy, a hallmark of 80’s action movies.

Gyllenhaal is absolutely dashing as the cool as cucumber Dalton. He is the “sifu” to the younger bouncers. He is a drifter or mercenary with a heart of gold. And yes he has a tragic, dark past and a penchant to turn violent and aggressive but Road House doesn’t reserved enough screen time to indulge viewers on that.

Speaking about violent and aggressiveness, real-life UFC fighter Conor McGregor making his official movie debut here as a hired fighter, Knox. Knox is an outrageous, colourful character and we wonder if McGregor is really acting or that is his usual trash-talking persona on the screen which actually requires little to no acting skill.

There are plenty of fight and hand-to-hand combat sequences littered throughout, some imitating but mostly undermined by quick, flashy cuts and shaky cam. Even the CGI involving a truck collision and the finale chase involving speedboats look questionable on TV let alone on the big screen.

Despite the obvious flaws and an excessive runtime of slightly over two hours, Road House (2024) is that kind of loud, undeniable testosterone-filled action movie that is best watched with a group of male buddies and a bucket of cold beer. Mild, forgettable and definitely won’t leave you with a hangover.


Review by Linus Tee