Road House 2024 Movie Scene Jake Gyllenhaal as Dalton and Conor McGregor as Knox squaring off in the bar

Road House [2024]

As a fan of eighties movies, I know it’s sacrilege to say that you don’t like the original movie that much. I think I was simply too young for it when I first saw it. And something about the general vibe and the atmosphere didn’t sit too well with me. It took itself a bit too seriously for my taste. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie we’re going to be talking about today. Road House 2024 is an action-packed and highly entertaining action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is fully self-aware and approaches the task of remaking a beloved eighties classic in the best possible way. There’s a lot of humor and the cinematography is simply gorgeous but that’s just a part of what this movie does well.

It actually provides an effective formula for all future remakes by successfully updating the characters, the setting, and the story to fit modern standards. Additionally, there’s a lot of good and authentic music here. We will be following ex-UFC fighter Elwood Dalton, a man struggling with his dark past; a man with a death wish. And, finally, a man with nothing to lose. A chance encounter will lead him to South Florida of all places where a roadhouse is in desperate need of his skill set. A local criminal wants it for himself so he keeps sending his goons to trash the place up. It’s the only establishment standing in the way of his grand scheme. So, this is not some beat ’em-up movie.

Road House 2024 has a clear and familiar story structure. It plays out like a video game with the fights and bosses getting increasingly more difficult. Until Dalton runs into Knox, played by the real UFC fighter Conor McGregor. Conor was surprisingly good in his movie debut. His exaggerated swagger and over-the-top lines played well into his character. And it goes without saying that he was phenomenally good during fight sequences. Shredded Jake Gyllenhaal was just as good showing impressive physique on top of his acting skills. The way he talks and moves in this movie reminded me of something Christian Bale said during the filming of The Machinist.

For that movie, he lost an incredible amount of weight saying that he would get into these ethereal states because he was so skinny. And Jake also had to lose a lot of weight to get all those abs and muscles popping out. And he has the same ethereal vibe about him. Apart from the roid brothers, we also have Daniela Melchior as the love interest and Jessica Williams as the bar owner. I wish their characters were more developed but I guess that would take the spotlight away from Jake and his story. Before we go any further I just want to say that Road House 2024 features some of the best fight scenes I have ever seen in a movie. They’re just so real, authentic, and kinetic that I couldn’t believe my eyes as I was watching them.

Is this for real? Are they really fighting each other and landing punches? Did Conor get a little crazy and actually beat up those poor stunt man? The answer lies in the new CGI multi-pass method which assigned each character its digital double. That double is then moved towards the action making it seem like it’s getting beat up. The end result is phenomenal and I hope it will start a revolution in the martial arts movie subgenre. I would love to see what other filmmakers can offer us by using this method. Of course, one name pops up immediately and that’s the director of The Raid: Redemption, Gareth Edwards.

However, I have to mention that Conor did accidentally hit Jake in the face during one of the scenes. Kudos to Doug Liman for going the extra mile to bring us this never-before-seen level of action. Every few movies, he produces a masterpiece. If I had to list my favorites, they would go in this order: Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity, and Go. However, I shouldn’t forget about Swingers, that movie is money! It turned out that he was the perfect guy for this remake. And to think that we could’ve ended up with a gender-swap version starring another real-life MMA fighter, Ronda Rousey. Now that I think of it, that might’ve been a great movie, if done correctly. 

Road House 2024 was filmed entirely in the Dominican Republic which stood in for Florida quite nicely. I mean, you simply can’t go wrong with the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo and Punta Cana look absolutely stunning. They have this exotic vibe mixed with a bit of roughness just for good measure. A perfect location for a rowdy roadhouse in desperate need of cleaning up. Production designer Greg Berr and his crew built this roadhouse from scratch and it’s just so damn comfy and inviting. It has an eighties seedy bar with a great music vibe to it. Not to mention the fact that it’s located on a beautiful beach.

I noticed that a lot of fans of the original didn’t like the movie. I do understand why they don’t like it as the story is changed quite significantly. Instead of focusing on the bar and its staff, we’re given a familiar Western structure of a tough stranger cleaning up town. Actually, there’s no town here as we will visit just a couple of locations. The main question is: can you make a remake like that in 2024? A remake that’s going to be basically a carbon copy of the original. I don’t think you can and I think that the one we actually got is quite good. So, be sure to check it out.

Director: Doug Liman

Writers: Anthony Bagarozzi, Chuck Mondry, R. Lance Hill

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniela Melchior, Conor McGregor, Billy Magnussen, Jessica Williams, Joaquim de Almeida

Fun Facts: The scenes featuring Dalton fighting in the UFC were filmed during the real event UFC 285. Some parts during the weigh-ins and some during intermissions.


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