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What brilliant trash this film is! It works absolutely every time! For
all I know it was filmed either at Uncle Ron's or El Matador here in
Road House is the story of a bouncer hired to clean up a rough bar in a tiny town. He isn't just your ordinary illiterate muscle head, though. It's Patrick Swayze. He's got a degree in philosophy from NYU! He owns a Mercedes! Why, he's the best damn cooler in the business! And it's a good thing he is. This fictional town of Jasper, MO is dominated by a slimy Boss-Hogg type played by Ben Gazzara. He and his thugs skim money from every business in town, and the last thing they want is some stranger waltzing on to the scene to break up their control of the action.
Enough plot, though. Let's focus on the highlights.
This film has a script that should be bronzed or put on display at the Smithsonian. We get monumental lines such as:
"It's good to see you!" spoken by a blind man when he first greets Swayze.
"What do you take me for?" a bimbo asks another bar patron in an early scene. the reply- "About a hundred dollars!"
And this film also contains the greatest line ever spoken in the history of cinema. Decorum prohibits me from stating it verbatim, but you'll probably know it when you hear it. It's spoken by pro wrestler Terry Funk who plays the bouncer Swayze replaces. The line focuses on the supposed size of Swayze's package, and the size vehicle his seed could fill.
The film is filled with bar fights that eventually turn into shootouts, hot women, fast cars, monster trucks, explosions, you name it. Anything for guys who like movies is in abundance. The whole thing plays out like a typical night on the town for us yokels here in the red states.
The film comes in surprisingly long at 114 minutes, but don't worry. This is the type of film you can basically stop at any place, then push play when you and your friends get back from the bars. "It will be like you never left," as Christopher Lloyd tells Michael J. Fox at one point in Back to the Future.
The film has more than its share of logical lapses. As Roger Ebert points out in his review, there is no way anyone could get as rich as Wesley by skimming this little town. It seems to only have a bar, an auto parts store, a Ford dealership, and a cafe or two. Most of these places get wiped out as the action unfolds. It makes you wonder who would have been left for Wesley to skim from.
But criticism of a film like this is useless. When faced with such an artistic statement as Road House, one can either sit back and enjoy, or chuck the tape out the window.
10 of 10 stars.
The genius of Joel Silver my know no boundaries.
Added 9-14-2009: We'll see you on the other side, Patrick! God Bless you!
The year 1989 is considered by most movie critics to be the last Golden
Age of Cinema. That legendary year saw the theatrical release of three
of Hollywoods most beloved films-the Hulk Hogan opus No Holds Barred,
the Sylvester Stallone masterpiece Over the Top(OK, I guess that came
out in 1987,but it has a totally 1989 vibe) and our current topic of
discussion, Road House.
Master auteur Rowdy Herrington has taken the archetypes from ancient mythology (the hero fated to undertake an impossible task, the wise elder who guides the hero, and the villain who the hero must confront)and crafted a tale as powerful and everlasting as any of the classical myths.
Dalton, the worlds greatest (or second greatest, depending on who you ask) cooler is given the Herculean task of cleaning up the Double Deuce, a honky tonk bar so vile they sweep up eyeballs with disturbing regularity. Armed with incredible tai chi skills, Dalton completes his task, but runs afoul of Brad Wesley, the evilest man in Jasper, Mo.
Dalton soon realizes even his tai chi skills won't be enough to defeat the ascot sporting Wesley, or his army of monster truck driving, booze bottle smashing henchmen, so Dalton is forced to call in his mentor Wade Garrett (the world's greatest, or second greatest cooler, depending on who you ask)to help him defeat the forces of evil.
Will Dalton and Wade prevail? Will Brad Wesley continue to finance his evil empire by shaking down the three businessmen that operate in Jasper? All I can tell you is this--Don't be too stupid to have a good time. Put on your right boot, hop into your monster truck and head on down to the video store and make Road House your regular Saturday night thing.
God, what a great film. Maybe one of the funniest films. The movie tries way too hard to be a "guy" flick and it boarders as being homoerotic. Seeing Swayze almost nude doing karate as an old Uncle Jesse looking guy watches him is just creepy. Swayze is Dalton, a guy who thinks pain doesn't hurt, a guy who can rip your throat out with his bare hands, a guy who can kick your ass and then take home Kelly Lynch and bang her the same night. Dalton is trying to clean up the Double Duce, a rough bar where the patrons aren't very friendly. The dialog is brilliant! We get lines like, "I f--- guys like you in prison!" "The Double Douche?" "Come on, chicken dick!" "You're too stupid to have a good time." "God, I love the way Don Knots makes love." The movie has tons of violence, a bar fight every 15 min. or so. Boobs flop around alot too and for the women and Shawn, Swayze shows his buns. Ben Gazzara as the bad guy chews his scenery like Adam with wings. It's a very fun film and if you don't take it too seriously, you'll enjoy it. If you liked Sense and Sensibility, you'll enjoy Road House!
A good example of how a great B-movie should be made.It entertains and gives the fans of it's genre straight up satisfaction without expecting the audience to take the whole story too seriously.Much like reading a good comic book.Here we have a good action comedy/drama with good action choreography and a simple plot of good versus evil and why each side does what it does.The acting is adequate and the cast chosen here was also good.The production values were all average but still,the overall flow of the movie just delivers for all those fans who understand B-action movies.This is the Swayze and Elliot I love.......
I love this movie. Why? Because it's sooo bad it's good. It dosen't
take itself too seriously (for the most part) but the lines really put
this one over the edge. "It's gonna get worse before it get's better"
""Be nice until it's time to not be nice" and "Oh baby, your gonna
be my regular Saturday night thing!" are classics of bad cinema.
The characters? All one dimensional hillbillies. The acting? Awful.
The plot? Yeah right. This movie is great because you can't take
your eyes away. What cheesy line comes next? When's the next
fight? And Who's the hot blonde? A guilty pleasure through and
through but it is fun sitting around with a bunch of guys watching
this and laughing your ass off. A great guy movie. Recommended.
this is an amazing movie. i have never enjoyed a moviegoing
more than when i watched "road house," and i say that with
honesty. this is not to say that "road house" is a good movie;
truly awful. c'mon, it's got patrick swayze as the lead character!
man cannot act! his performances are wooden enough to deserve a
of wood varnish! however, this movie is a blast. patrick goes to
town that is run by Mr. Evil (that's not his name, but it might as
be). Mr. Evil does nothing but mean things, just stopping short
eating children. patrick is paid to go from town to town,
bouncers how to be bouncers. of course, Mr. Evil and patrick
swords and hijinks ensue. it just goes to show you that everything
in life can be learned in a house. on a road.
this movie has it all. random nudity? check. senseless violence? check. painfully ridiculous dialogue? triple check. plus, it has a monster truck! and there's a bad guy who looks like the understudy for former wrestler lou albino! and a blind man plays horrible versions of early 60s rock tunes, providing the sole soundtrack! and a throat gets ripped out of an unarmed man's neck in a fight scene! and patrick swayze shows his naked buttocks off to a lady that isn't even his romantic interest! what more could you want in a movie?
if you like laughing at how poorly movies can be made, this is one that will keep you from getting bored. road house, i salute you!
This movie is so ridiculous it's sublime! Ben Gazzara's portrayal of
ascot-clad uber-villain Brad Wesley is...delicious! The showdown
between Dalton and Wesley's top goon comes off more like rough sex
between two gay ballet dancers than an epic tough-guy battle. I've
never seen a fight with so many perfectly pointed toes.
Dalton's love interest (a blonde doctor with a family of five living in her giant hair) inexplicably wears a picnic-table cover throughout the entire movie.
And we have a musical cameo! Jeff Healey's every line seems to scream "fire my agent". Luckily for him he didn't have to see the movie.
And I won't ruin it, but the final line of the flick, uttered by a fat guy in a "CAT" hat, is solid gold as well. If you want a great laugh, this is solid gold! I give it a 10 on entertainment value alone.
Released last month as a Deluxe Edition DVD, ROAD HOUSE is a film that
is almost impossible to ignore. Whether considered good or bad, it is
one of the few pictures that is easy to watch all the way through by
almost any one who comes across it. It is a rare gem. The phrase "it's
so bad that it's good" doesn't apply to ROAD HOUSE. It isn't so bad
it's good, it's so bad it's great. It is the very definition of a guy
movie. It contains brutal and bloody fist fights, frequent nudity, a
rock n' roll sound track, some of the best cheesy dialogue ever
written, fancy cars, gun-play, knives being thrown, and explosions. As
a movie for guys, it's a 10, as a movie to be taken seriously, it's a
5. Every attempt at drama flounders, though it never completely ruins
what is going on.
Although considered a box office failure when released in 1989, ROAD HOUSE quickly became a cult hit once it reached video. Finally giving in to the cult mania, MGM's new DVD version of ROAD HOUSE contains two commentaries: one from director Rowdy Herrington and one by filmmakers Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier who were called in to do the track after talking ROAD HOUSE on the tenth-anniversary DVD of CLERKS. Both commentaries are fun to listen to. Herrington's commentary is for those who want to know more about the flick and the Smith/Mosier commentary is for those that want a nice laugh at the expense of this cinematic marvel. Also included on the DVD is a look-back documentary and a short featurette on the direct-to-video sequel.
As an actual film: 5/10 As a campy guy film: 10/10
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.
OK, this isn't Oscar material, it garnered six Razzie nominations
instead. The acting leaves a lot to be desired, and the dialog is pure
corn, but it fills the "guilty pleasure" category like a glove.
While others like Dirty Dancing, this movie will always define Patrick Swayze to me. In his memory, I will watch it over and over.
It will be the movie that reminds me of how attractive Kelly Lynch is.
It will remind me why I like Sam Elliott.
It will remind me why Ben Gazzara is perfect as Boss Hogg.
It's not art, it's pure entertainment, and why I will always remember Swayze.
Besides, it has one of the best soundtracks around.
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