In the words of Buffalo Springfield, there’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear. Road House is a 1980s guilty pleasure but nobody could ever refer to it as high art. However, the reviews are now filtering out for the Doug Liman remake and the buzz is strong. Perhaps way stronger than you would expect, given the subject matter. Empire describes the movie as “a total riot”.

In this new version, the story follows a former UFC fighter (Jake Gyllenhaal) who takes a job as a bouncer at a rough roadhouse in the Florida Keys, but he soon discovers that not everything is what it seems in this tropical paradise.


So what do the critics say? Here is the snapshot:

“An infectiously stylish piece of slumming… staged with a verve and wit and dynamic grittiness that make the original film look even more rickety than it once did. The action is beyond brutal; at moments, it’s vicious. Liman and Gyllenhaal bring the pain, but they also make you feel it.”

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Gyllenhaal manages to find nuance in what is, on paper, a fairly standard, testosterone-fuelled figure. As cheesy as it may sound, this Dalton really is a new kind of action hero, as caring and sensitive as he is ruthlessly violent when he needs to be.”

Boyd Hilton, Empire

“When Road House finds its own story, the film really takes off. The general narrative remains the same (this is still a campy adventure with minor-key humor and a host of lethal action sequences) but the details make good use of the new setting.”

Lovia Gyarkye, THR

“Road House is a mixed bag of blockbuster punches and quirky set pieces that give way to hyper-masculinity in the modern world. The ensemble understands the type of cartoonish movie they are in and the audience can easily follow along.”

Matthew Creith, The Wrap

“Liman’s work in Road House is downright captivating. The fights are oiled to perfection, cameras planted on dollies and tracking his characters’ every last move. The director is completely unafraid to experiment, using every last trick in his arsenal to make the crowd go absolutely wild.”

Coleman Spilde, The Daily Beast

“Liman’s rowdy, campy remake both looks and sounds more expensive and textured than what we’ve come to expect from digital releases. [It’s an] entertaining and visceral, if at times unwieldy, romp of scene-chewing trash talk and smackdowns.”

Adrian Horton, The Guardian

Is it all completely positive? No. In the interests of balance, there are a couple of reviews out there that are less than glowing:

“A film surprisingly void of the action and intensity its premise promises. The few fight scenes are technically dazzling thanks to Liman’s deft direction, but they are too infrequent to either provoke or interest the audience. Added to the insult is a script that relies heavily on dialogue, yet that fails every attempt at humor.”

Valerie Complex, Deadline

“Road House shapes up as a serviceable remake that knows what it is, and doesn’t strive to innovate beyond that. In other words, the perfect movie for streaming.”

James Preston Poole, But Why Though?

The premiere happened at SXSW in Austin over the weekend. There was some drama at the screening as the manager of co-star and MMA fighter Conor McGregor reportedly passed out at the event from “dehydration”.

Road House premieres on Amazon Prime Video on March 21st and we find ourselves really looking forward to this for all the right reasons!

Check back every day for movie news and reviews at the Last Movie Outpost

LMO FcaebookLMO InstagramLMO TwitterLMO YouTubeLMO Social Discord