Road House (1989)

R   |    |  Action, Thriller


Road House (1989) Poster

A tough bouncer is hired to tame a dirty bar.

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6.6/10
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  • Sam Elliott and Patrick Swayze in Road House (1989)
  • Patrick Swayze in Road House (1989)
  • Patrick Swayze and Marshall R. Teague in Road House (1989)
  • Patrick Swayze and Julie Michaels in Road House (1989)
  • Patrick Swayze and Ben Gazzara in Road House (1989)
  • Patrick Swayze and Kelly Lynch in Road House (1989)

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13 November 2005 | Bogmeister
7
| Heel to the face,Knuckle to the nose
This really is one of those guilty pleasures - a silly, inane movie, but possessed of so many elements for guys to enjoy, mainly regular bouts of ass-kicking, that a guy has to watch it about once a year to get his fix of adrenaline and a picture of how the world should work. The movie has its own rules and an internal structure mostly explained by the character of Dalton (Swayze), a supervisor of bouncers termed a Cooler. When certain entertainment establishments become too lowbrow and rowdy on a nightly basis, someone like Dalton is hired on to show all the patrons how to behave in a civilized manner. He has a degree in philosophy to help facilitate his instruction, plus some martial arts disciplines. In this world of bouncers, club owners, and alcohol dispensers, Dalton has a mighty rep - they've all heard of him, tho many thought he'd be bigger.

Also with an older rep is Wade Garrett (Elliott), an aged cooler who shows up halfway in to help his protégé kick some teeth in. It's amusing to watch the bouncers when introduced to Wade - they react like actors introduced to the Marlon Brando of the bouncer industry. The main villain is a local rich bigshot (Gazzara), usually wearing a self-satisfied evil grin and nice clothes, hiding a repugnant nature which treasures power & more power above all else. Well, actually, he doesn't hide it much as the pic progresses. This is where such villains make a foolish error: if he'd been just a little more laid-back and content with all the power he already had, things would've probably stayed the same for him. But he just can't resist having total absolute control over everything & everyone - a pure-bred fascist if ever there was - offending the zen-like sensibilities of the usually serene Dalton. Of course, having a couple of Dalton's friends killed didn't help towards a peaceful resolution.

The most entertaining portions of the pic are Dalton's methods in dealing with yahoo troublemakers; these dangerous dudes are reduced to clownish oafs by Dalton's effective tactics & knowhow. There's also a dark version of Dalton, Gazzara's main henchman, a martial arts master who seems a match for Dalton's prowess. There are frequent splashes of female nudity, including by Lynch as Dalton's new girlfriend (and doctor; Dalton isn't invulnerable - he needs a doctor about twice a week). You also seem to learn a lot about the art of being a bouncer, though some of this may be baloney. In many ways, this could be the perfect guy picture.

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