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"Reimagining a Cult Classic: The 2024 Road House"

Road House (2024)

Road House is an American action film directed by Doug Liman and released in 2024. The film features a very interesting ensemble that works together to create an exhilarating experience for the audience. Elwood Dalton, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, stars as the film’s protagonist, with his main adversary being Knox, played by Conor McGregor. I found McGregor’s inclusion in the cast to be a very deliberate attempt to mimic the reality of UFC fighting: the octagon personified. Dalton’s presentation as a proverbially numb individual with nothing to lose, coupled with Knox’s psychotic persona, shed some light on what it means to be a UFC fighter. 

The film, however, does have its drawbacks, some of which I found to be rather careless. For instance, despite this being a high-budget film, the editing is somehow, for lack of a better word, incomplete. There were several instances where I noticed some issues with continuity. For such a high-budget screening, one would expect nothing but the best. It’s also a shame how the film used CGI. Don’t get me wrong, the CGI is quite impressive for some scenes. The opening scene, where the legendary Post Malone fights some other bald guy on the underground circuit, is well-curated. The editing in this fight is pinpoint and it sets the pace for the rest of the film; or does it? I found this to be one of the best parts of the film in matters of editing. That statement says it all. Most of what I saw later on was somewhat awful. For example, when Dalton is run over while walking back to his boathouse, the truck’s pace just doesn’t make sense. I’m certain critics will have something to say about this specific scene.

Having watched the original 1989 film, I would say that this is a bit of a disappointment. As much as I appreciate McGregor’s inclusion in the cast and what it meant to the overall theme of the film, his acting is not quite there yet. His one-liners ticked me off as some of them didn’t make sense, and some of his fight scenes were very unrealistic. However, his driving skills were unmatched, pun intended. It also feels as if the story’s development is dragged. This 2-hour screening really feels unnecessarily long for what eventually transpires in the last few minutes. 

Not all was bad, however. Gyllenhaal’s acting is pinpoint and very interesting to watch. It seems that the protagonist did save the day after all. I would give this film a solid 6.5 just because of the interesting scenes at the roadhouse, not forgetting McGregor’s driving skills. I’m not sure if I could recommend this to a film enthusiast, but it’s worth watching for anyone looking to pass their time. 

6.5/10 "It seems that the protagonist did save the day after all."

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