Friday, December 11, 2009

Road House

It's Friday night, and this is the perfect Friday night flick. First of all, if you're a female, you can forget about the rest of this blog. There's basically nothing here for you. Even if you think Patrick Swayze's dreamy, his mullet and monosyllabic performance will probably turn you off.

This is a dude's movie. It's got tough talk, violence, and most importantly, boobs. And it's got scads of all three.

It also may very well be the best "bad" movie ever made (coincidentally, Swayze's Point Break is also high on that list). Make no mistake; it's terrible. It's just terrible in all the right ways.

Consider the poster. I didn't photoshop that caption on there. It really reads "Last call...for action!" It sounds like a schlocky B-movie, not a studio pic with a rising star in the lead role. Nevertheless, that's the beauty of this film. It's unapologetically trashy.

Do you care about the plot? Here's all you need to know: Patrick Swayze's Dalton is the most badass bouncer in...the continental United States, apparently. I had no idea that there was such a thing as a famous "cooler," but that's the kind of information you can glean from the majesty that is Road House. Anyway, he's hired by this guy who owns a bar called "The Double Deuce" that's "The kind of place where they sweep up the eyeballs at closing time." The dude offers him a ton of cash to do the job, so Dalton leaves his old gig to move to Florida. Which is ironic, because Dalton doesn't care about cash. He lives modestly. He just wants the challenge. How the owner of a shitty road house bar is rich/ambitious enough to drive to another state and get a prize free-agent bouncer is not relevant.

Dalton arrives at the new bar and immediately goes to work training his staff.

Dalton: If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker I want you to be nice.
Hank: [With resignation] Ok
Dalton: Ask him to walk, be nice, if he won't walk, walk him, but be nice, If you can't walk him, one of the others will help you and you will both be nice...I want you to remember, that it's the job, it's nothing personal.
Steve: Being called a cocksucker isn't personal?
Dalton: No, it's two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response.
Steve: What if somebody calls my Mama a whore?
Dalton: Is she?
Dalton: I want you to be nice.. until it's not be nice.

Little does Dalton know he's in for more than he bargained for. There's a town crime lord that really doesn't like Dalton's righteousness...or something. All I know is that Bard Wesley is such a kingpin that he can do the following without police involvement of any kind:

1. Swerve leisurely across both lanes of a two-lane highway while crooning "Life Could Be a Dream."

2. Hire a group of thugs to wreck any bar or establishment he feels threatens his autonomy.

3. Burn down Dalton's temporary residence, the hayloft he rents from from kindly Southern gent Emmett. Emmett's philosophy? "Calling me 'sir' is like putting an elevator in an outhouse, it don't belong. I'm Emmett."

4. Using a monster truck to destroy a competitor's car dealership in front of dozens of witnesses. Read that sentence again. He destroys a car dealership with a monster truck in front of dozens of witnesses. There might not be a more patently absurd (or awesome) scene in cinematic history.

Then there's Road House's signature violence. Dalton rips a guy's throat out with his bare hands. 'Nuff said. Sam Elliot comes in halfway through the film and is Sam Elliot, which is always a good thing.

Oh yeah, then there are boobs. Plus an absurdly implausible finale that causes a grown man to utter the line "A polar bear fell on me."

Nolanometer Critical Grade: D+
Nolanometer Friday Night Grade: A

Edit: I just saw the director's name on IMDB. It's Rowdy Herrington. Rowdy. I'm not making this up.

1 comment:

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this. It does occur to me though - and you must admit - that the only thing that might make this movie better is if you threw in a Predator.