ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Road House

Updated on May 19, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Review

In 1989, Rowdy Herrington released Road House, which starred Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, Sam Elliott, Ben Gazzara, Kevin Tighe, Red West, Sunshine Parker, Marshall Teague, John Doe, Kathleen Wilhoite, Terry Funk, Julie Michaels, Jeff Healey, Anthony De Longis, Travis McKenna, and Keith David. The film grossed $30.1 million at the box office and it was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay.

Synopsis

Dalton, a professional bouncer with a mysterious past, is hired to work for the Double Deuce in Jasper, Missouri. While he works to clean up the roadside bar, he gets on the wrong side of the town’s criminal kingpin Brad Wesley. Meanwhile, he sparks a romance with a nurse who stapled his stiches following a bar fight.

Review

While it can’t be considered a good film, Road House is one of those films that’s decent enough to be enjoyable. The story is essentially a new look at the age old trope of a guy with a past and a reputation who strolls into town and winds up cleaning it up for the better. However, what’s different is that Dalton isn’t a samurai or a loner cowboy. Instead, he’s just a bouncer who gets hired to clean the bar up and essentially winds up cleaning up the town. It’s a story that’s as ludicrous as it is fun to watch with the amount of modern day vigilante justice. However, the final act is where the film just dives off the deep end into a world that isn’t even synonymous with reality. While a guy brought in to clean up a bar that eventually finds romance and a connection with the townspeople is at least somewhat realistic, the ending where Dalton goes after Brad and eventually gets saved by the business owners shooting the latter and then making it so the police can’t do anything because said shooters didn’t see anything feels like a resolution written just so the film can have a resolution. The film also tries very hard to make it seem like Dalton is on the same level as Brad when the former is asked “who’s going to save the town from you?” Yet, that makes no sense because the film in no way made any indication that Dalton was a threat to them and the line just comes off as trying too hard.

When it comes to characterization, Dalton is a stereotypical boring, invincible hero, even if he does get knifed a couple times. He’s got a reputation as a guy who can rip someone’s throat out, which he’s able to back up, and outright states that “pain don’t hurt” when asked if the stab wound in his side is bothering him. He’s also a really nice guy, seen when he pays the owner of a restaurant to allow a homeless guy to sleep there for the night. What’s more is that it’s part of his code to be nice to the patrons of the bar until it’s time to not be nice.

At the same time, Brad is an interesting villain whose dastardly deeds are so over the top that the film may as well have a neon sign pointing to him stating that he’s the bad guy of the film. Not only does he taunt and antagonize the business owners, going so far as to crushing a car lot with a monster truck, but he also abuses his mistress. Granted, the film does try to make Brad more than one-sided, showing that he loves his sister enough by promising to look after her son, with that manifesting in his forcing the owner of the Double Deuce to make said son the bartender. However, it’s a terrible attempt at humanizing him as it comes up once and is never brought up or alluded to again. Further, when he talks about it, he makes it seem like he’s obligated to instead of doing it because he actually loves his sister enough to do so.

However, that may be a failure of the acting as there’s plenty of bad acting to be found in this film. It seems that while Swayze may be having fun with the role, he doesn’t think too highly of it and doesn’t emote very well, even during the scenes where Dalton is mourning the death of his friend and mentor. Lynch is also about as compelling as a block of wood and Gazzara as Brad can’t get through a scene without chewing on some of the scenery.

3 stars for Road House

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)