A worthy remake: Jake Gyllenhall elevates Amazon’s ‘Road House’ over the original

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in Road House, a remake of the ludicrous Patrick Swayze cult film about a bar bouncer teaching others how to bounce—and punching people in the face a lot.

This is better than the lousy original thanks to Gyllenhaal’s committed, perhaps a little bit psycho performance as a guy who is a little too reliant on violence to get through his days and pay his bills. Gyllenhaal gives us a Dalton who has a few screws loose—and it turns him into less of a cartoon and more of a compelling character study.

Some parts of the movie around him are pure trash; Conor McGregor fucks up his every second onscreen as one of the film’s villains. McGregor’s smiley-crazy guy shtick gets tired after about four seconds. The man can’t act and should stick to punching people in the balls for a living.

Billy Magnussen is a better villain, and he sort of balances out McGregor’s terrible work. Post Malone appears briefly in a bar fight, and his few seconds onscreen are far better than McGregor’s mugging.

The fight scenes are pretty good, and Gyllenhaal is alternately funny and frightening in a film that turns out to be far better than I expected.

Let’s face it: The original was not good. In fact, it was terrible. This is that rare instance where remaking a shit movie proves to be sort of worthwhile.

Road House is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

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