Jake Gyllenhaal Road House Review: Is A Brilliant Violent Remake
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‘Review Of Road House: Jake Gyllenhaal Dominates In An Intensely Violent Remake, Transforming Slumming Into Artful Expression’

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BY March 9, 2024

Road House is a chic reinterpretation of the 1989 cult classic. It also injects vitality and a raw intensity that accentuates the vulnerabilities of the original. Directed by Doug Liman, known for previous works such as Go and Swingers, the film navigates the terrain of unconventional cinema with some style. Jake Gyllenhaal stars in Road House. He also plays an Ultimate Fighting Championship boxer tasked with restoring order to a Florida roadhouse with a genuine and convincing performance. The movie transcends typical action fare, maintaining a humane quality in its eccentric, bare-knuckle approach.

The Road House The Next Jake Gyllenhaal Movie

The original Road House earned criticism and box office success, becoming a beloved guilty pleasure reminiscent of Chuck Norris films. Patrick Swayze, portraying Dalton, embodied a fearless super-bouncer tasked with restoring order in a rowdy Missouri bar. The charm of the original lies in its simplicity. However, the new version, directed by Liman, takes on a strange quality, reminiscent of a Jason Statham film under the direction of Jonathan Demme.

The human approach of Demme’s filmmaking is the basis for Liman’s interpretation of Road House. In addition, the film approaches the themes of sadism and revenge with authenticity, reminiscent of Demme’s stylistic approach seen in films like Something Wild. Liman allows the revenge to unfold against a backdrop of bar bands, creating a cathartic experience set in a tavern-beat island party.

Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of Dalton, now Elwood Dalton, brings a unique blend of sincerity and sarcasm. His punches are swift, almost freezing time, and he handles a feeble punch with indifference. Despite his inherently kind nature, Dalton harbors deeper torment and simmering anger. Gyllenhaal’s nuanced performance channels an Anthony Perkins stripped of self-doubt, portraying Dalton with an ironic understatedness that masks his formidable presence.

A Simple Movie, But One That Won’t Leave Anyone Indifferent

The plot introduces a new owner, Frankie (Jessica Williams), tasked with cleaning up the roadhouse, now named the Road House. The antagonist, Brandt (Billy Magnussen), aims to eliminate the roadhouse to build a high-end resort. Each villain in the film possesses distinctive maniacal qualities. Despite being a scoundrel, Brandt believes he is a virtuous community architect. Dalton’s confrontation with Dell (JD Pardo), the motorcycle gang leader, involves a crocodile living under a houseboat, adding to the film’s eccentricity.

Liman infuses intense vehicular sequences as the film builds toward a showdown, turning collisions into a nihilistic action ballet. Conor McGregor’s debut as Knox, an adversary worthy of Dalton, adds an extra layer of ferocity to the film. The impending clash demands a brutal approach, shifting from mere punches to much stabbing.

Road House avoids overpraise, acknowledging its reliance on standard components. Liman’s fervor and commitment to unconventional filmmaking, alongside Gyllenhaal’s commanding performance, elevate the film. Daniela Melchior’s portrayal of the local physician adds tough-nut romanticism, yet the spotlight remains on Gyllenhaal. Despite its simplicity, the film offers a unique, grimy charm. This makes it a worthy addition to the Road House legacy.

Featured Image Via Prime Video

 

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