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Mike Wilder brings you movie reviews. Each week a Selection of reviews for new releases and older films plus movie comparisons.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Review of Road House (1989) by Mike

Title: Road House (1989)

Original UK Release Date: Unknown

Original US Release Date: 19th May 1989

UK Rating: 18

US Rating: R

Director: Rowdy Herrington

Genre: Action

Plot: A bouncer is hired to help remove the bad element in a bar so the owner can refurbish and bring in a better clientele.

Mike's Review
It is time to go back and review some older movies as I have focused on recent releases lately.
So what kind of film do you get when you have great one liners, bar fights, guns, knives, egos, strippers, blues music, a polar bear and a monster truck? You get one of the most enjoyable and entertaining films of the late 80’s, Road House.
The film follows James Dalton (Patrick Swayze) a cooler (bouncer) and the best in the business, as he takes employment with Frank Tilghman (Kevin Tighe) the owner of the Double Deuce in Jasper, Missouri. The bar is the roughest in town and he needs Dalton to clean it up. However corrupt business man and crime boss Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara) stands in his way.
After the classic “chick flick” Dirty Dancing, Patrick Swayze was Hollywood gold. Women loved him and men wanted to be him. The film was full of romance. Then along came Road House, a complete opposite to Dirty Dancing, a little romance and loads of action.
The film has a great cast including Patrick Swayze, Kevin Tighe, Ben Gazzara, Kelly Lynch, Marshall R. Teague, Red West, Kathleen Wilhoite, John William Young, John Doe, Kurt James Stefka, Keith David & Terry Funk. The cast works well together and it is full of great performances. Naturally Patrick Swayze at the height of his career stands miles apart from the rest of the cast as Dalton. A character that can hurt you with his words just as much as his fists. Tragically, 20 years later Swayze had his life cut short by cancer. His death is still a major loss to the entertainment industry, but his legacy will live on in the great performances and memorable characters he played. The film also a features a great performance by the late great blues guitarist Jeff Healey as Cody. It’s the music in the film that goes a long way to achieving the right feel for the film.
Everything works well from the characters, the music to the setting. Set in a rural area the scenery is breath-taking and it is used to great effect. But it’s the fight choreography that stands out from many other films. Great bar fights are pretty much a thing of the past, but here they are full of action and humour just like the classic westerns. The one on one fights are brutal, mainly for the realism they portray. The script is awesome and full of classic lines mainly from Dalton and although many are cheesy, when he says it, it feels right. The director surprisingly hasn’t made many films but the ones I have seen of his I really like and I know I am in the minority. See my review of Gladiator (1992) for more by this director.
This is truly a great film, although very underrated. It is also one of my personal all-time favourites. There are a couple of versions of this so ensure that you see the USA or UK version released after 2002 as these are the uncut editions. So grab a few beers and a few friends, but this on a big screen and turn the sound way up for a really great movie experience.

10 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Patrick Swayze as James Dalton


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