Road House Remake Trailer Wants You to Think It’s Cool

The remake roulette wheel has landed on another beloved movie. Amazon has released a trailer for the remake of Road House. An update of the 1989 classic, Road House (2024) follows MMA fighter Elwood Dalton as he’s recruited to serve as the bouncer for a bar in the Florida Keys and ultimately has to protect the establishment from a crooked businessman and his hired guns. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Dalton, with Daniela Melchior, Billy Magnussen, Jessica Williams, Joaquim de Almeida, and Conor McGregor in supporting roles. Directed by Doug Liman, Road House (2011) will begin streaming on Amazon Prime on March 21, 2024. You can see the trailer below:

Some remakes are unnecessary; others are ungodly. This is the latter. Does anyone think this will be anywhere near as good as Road House? It’s a bad idea conceptually, but this trailer doesn’t make me feel much better about it. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Dalton is presented as smug and condescending as well as introspective and philosophical about violence; it’s hard to square him taunting his opponents in the parking lot with him telling Daniela Melchior (who is playing the Kelly Lynch role), “Nobody wins a fight” with that jerky smile. You can lob all the derision you want at Road House, but Patrick Swayze’s Dalton was a consistent character; he was a ridiculous character, for sure, but he was consistent. Everything about this trailer screams “modernization.” They’re in a tropical paradise rather than small-town USA. The owner of the bar (which presumably isn’t still called the Double Deuce) is not a schlubby, middle-aged businessman but a strong, independent woman who’s about a decade younger than Dalton. (Speaking of which, remember when they were going to make Dalton a woman?) The villain is now young, too, and more obnoxious than intimidating, as the great Ben Gazzara was. (And they have the perfect actor for this role in Joaquim de Almeida, who is also in the film, though not in the trailer.) His henchman is played by Conor McGregor as an excuse to further cross-promote with UFC. I will say that the fights look cool, and from what we see here, I like the way they’re filmed. Doug Liman has directed some excellent movies – The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow, Go, Mr. and Mrs. Smith (which is also being remade by Amazon because Hollywood wants my head to explode) – but I wish he’d done something else rather than a remake that’s destined to wilt in its predecessor’s shadow if it’s even remembered at all. (I do feel bad for the way Amazon screwed him over, though.)

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