My Cultural Diet

427 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.
Road House (1989)

Since Amazon Prime is releasing a Road House remake later this month, it seemed like a good idea to rewatch the original 1989 film starring Patrick Swayze in all of his ’80s glory. It’s an enjoyable enough film, an example of prime ’80s cinema that’s all vibe — and feathered hair. It’s also patently ridiculous, be it Swayze’s philosophical, Tai Chi-practicing bouncer (who has a tortured past, of course), the love interest who loves him simply because he’s Patrick Swayze, or the main antagonist, a slimy tycoon played to the hilt by Ben Gazzara whose villainy is so over-the-top that it’s almost laughable. (Y’know, the sort of villain that only exists in ’80s films.) But kudos to Swayze et al. for thoroughly committing themselves to the bit. Road House is at its best when it embraces its “B” movie nature (e.g., when Swayze waxes philosophical while cleaning people’s clocks). As such, it feels wrong when the film’s blues-y soundtrack (via The Jeff Healey Band) is suddenly replaced by a surprisingly conventional-sounding score by Michael Kamen, and during the iconic “I’m gonna kill you the old-fashioned way” scene to boot.


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