Graphic by Anabelle Coker | THE ALL STATE.

Nobody ever wins a fight, but the 2024 Road House remake is able to successfully win over its audience.

Those who know me know that I think the best movies are those cheesy, 1980s cult classics like 1986’s Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, 1984’s Gremlins or even 1989’s original Road House starring Patrick Swayze as professional bouncer Dalton.

The latter of those was never critically successful, though over the years it has become a cult classic film. In one of his most iconic roles outside of Dirty Dancing, Swayze played the black belt with a PhD in philosophy that managed to embody the idea of calm, cool and collected until he’s pushed too far and *spoiler* rips the bad guy’s throat out with his bare hands. That scene, and the rest of the original’s fight scenes, were just as cheesy as you can imagine a 1980s action flick about an arguably over glorified bouncer could be. Yet somehow, it was charming, philosophical and just a ton of fun.

This year’s remake from Amazon changed the formula up and made its own thing that wasn’t the same, and didn’t try to be. It made Jake Gyllenhaal’s Dalton a disgraced UFC fighter who fought Post Malone, somehow leading to being recruited for a bouncer gig. He had no PhD, no black belt and no experience as a bouncer. Still, he did a hell of a job as a bouncer once he got there, following the same general beats as the original; he fell in love with a nurse, protected the bar, got in a lot of fights, witnessed the bad guys burning down a local business and took down some criminals who wanted the titular road house for their own nefarious real estate gains.

Oh and he completely flipped a switch and kicked ass for a crazy final fight against Connor McGregor. McGregor was also a highlight of the film in his acting debut, though it really felt like he was playing himself. You could tell he had a lot of fun fighting Gyllenhaal.

Their fight scenes were well-choreographed and honestly pretty intense to watch at times. The audience was never taken out of the film during the fights. The same can not be said for the CGI in other parts of the film, which was blatantly obvious. I won’t spoil it, but just no.

While I’m sure many people will be comparing it to the original Road House, this film stood well on its own, not taking itself too seriously and not trying to recreate the wheel of Swayze’s iteration. This worked well to it’s advantage. It had some good references to its predecessor without trying too hard or being too obvious about it.

As a whole, Road House (2024) was a blast. It certainly won’t be winning any Oscars, and it was never trying to. It’s not a serious film, it’s a fun flick that you can sit down and enjoy without thinking about the social or cultural implications that it’s going to have. It’s the kind of cheesy action movie that should never have gone out of style. It’s terrible in the best ways possible.