Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to star in the Road House reboot, which is all wrong

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In all the history of American cinema, there is a perfect film: Road House (1989). It is a masterpiece, untouchable and untouched, and no one should ever do it again. So obviously someone is trying to do it again. We’ve been threatened with remakes before, including one played by Ronda Rousey, but they have always silently vanished into the ether, leaving Road House undisturbed. But now, not anymore. A new remake looms, this one with considerable stellar power. No less than a Jake Gyllenhaal character is in talks to act Road House Redux: Dumbest idea anyone ever had in Hollywood, and that’s saying something based on the number of movies with talking horses.

Doug Liman is also in talks to direct, and I can only see how this is presented at MGM. Liman, with his kinetic and nervous action, and Jake G, with his tense and nervous performances. I understand, I do. It’s just all wrong for Road House, which is basically a western but built around Patrick Swayze’s relaxed Zen vibes that sublimate the overt machismo found throughout the film. (Road House is good, actually: a ten-part essay.) There are great fighting scenes in.) Road House, including that killing spree in Act 3 that appears to come straight from the lines of cocaine on a studio executive’s desk, but brawls in Road House they’re all centered around the juxtaposition of Swayze’s relatively lean physique against the ridiculously huge henchman, his ballet and controlled movements against their brute strength. It’s all a rejection of the adrenaline-pumping action of the ’80s, and the one time Dalton (Swayze) loses control and does something unspeakably violent, it’s framed as a personal failure.

It’s also a movie where someone says, “I used to fuck guys like you in prison” and I BONE a contemporary movie to include that line of dialogue. I DARE YOU.

Putting Road House in the hands of Doug Liman and Jake Gyllenhaal it’s all wrong. What he did is a misunderstanding Road House big in the first place, and you can never replicate Patrick Swayze’s unique charm, which was so specific to that era, when it was a direct counterpoint to the exaggerated masculinity of other action stars. However, today’s action heroes are built into the Swayze line, so there’s nothing to fight against. A contemporary Dalton wouldn’t be a weird duck in the movie landscape, as expected – there’s a reason everyone is commenting on how unexpectedly they find Dalton. Just don’t redo Road House. You can’t get that lightning bolt back in a bottle. Didn’t we learn ANYTHING from? Breaking point remake?

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Attached – Jake Gyllenhaal at the LACMA Art + Film Gala 2021 last week.

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