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Road House Recensione

Road House Review: Gyllenhaal and Liman destroy Prime Video

We previewed Road House, Doug Liman's new film starring Jake Gyllenhaal, a remake of the 1980s cult film: review

Just days after the world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival of Austin, Texas, starting next March 21 will arrive exclusively on the on-demand streaming platform Prime Video Amazon MGM Studios’ new original movie, Road House, remake of the 1980s cult film of the same name starring the immortal Patrick Swayze directed by Rowdy Herrington. This adrenaline-fueled reinterpretation in a modern key is in the hands of the experienced and tightrope walker Doug Liman, who picks himself up after the fiasco of the sci-fi Chaos Walking released in the midst of a back-to-back pandemic with one of the best films of the covid era namely the heist romantic comedy Locked Down.

The focus is shifted from Missouri to the Florida Keys, and the protagonist, instead of the ‘tough’ cover model with a wispy forelock, becomes a troubled former UFC fighter played by a generous, self-deprecating, and simply perfect Jake Gyllenhaal. Of course, that remains the legendary roadhouse, here called just Road House with a fun meta pun: a club as beautiful and alive as we’ve seen since Top Gun: Maverick (if you missed it, here’s our ranking of the Best Tom Cruise Movies). However, beyond more-or-less different plot twists, it is the approach to staging that is striking in its dynamism, vigor, and spectacularity.

Road House: Jake Gyllenhaal Reacher mode.

Putting aside the controversy, and there have been so many in recent weeks (the short version: Liman announced a boycott of the film after Prime Video’s decision to release it directly on streaming without going through the theater despite, according to him, the contract saying otherwise, except that he later being persuaded by his friend Jake Gyllenhaal to attend the SXSW premiere anyway after Gyllenhaal himself had denied the director’s version), this new version of Road House is a success across the board.

Gyllenhaal-on the wave of a winning streak that has been going on since at least 2018 with The Brothers Sisters, after which came in order Velvet Buzzsaw, Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Guilty and especially. Ambulance and The Covenant, the latter also released on Prime Video – plays a new ‘Road House tough guy,’ less of an authoritarian, ‘cop’ symbol than Patrick Swayze’s original and more wayfarer with a dark past struggling with himself; hesitant vigilante never afraid of others but always of his own abilities, which, for the avoidance of doubt, are those of beat the hell out of anyone spin them around.

Road House Jake Gyllenhaal

Again, this new Dalton (totally asexual compared to the more racy original film: times have changed, we know) will not only have to deal with harassing drunks and barroom beaters: he will cross paths with a criminal gang that has specific plans for the roadhouse. It is as good a narrative context as any that Doug Liman and Jake Gyllenhaal need to baste their all-fisted, steadycam divertissement filmic template, where physical confrontations are felt in exaggerated camera movements and the only thing that matters is exaggeration. Not many people remember that, prior to the outstanding work of Paul Greengrass, the Jason Bourne saga was born in Liman’s hands, and the physicality of Road House’s confrontations, coupled with the elaborate and marked camera movements, is reminiscent of the high points of the films with Matt Damon.

Speaking of notorious pikers, before going his own way like an ordinary Jack Reacher (just to stay in the Prime Video house), Jake Gyllenhaal’s Dalton will have righted wrongs and angered villains (including a maddening Connor McGregor as a psychopath), renounced love as a true romantic hero (we find the Portuguese actress again Daniela Melchior, after The Suicide Squad and Fast & Furious 10) and caused a lot of multiple fractures. And if you’ve always dreamed of seeing a live-action version of the famous confrontation between Peter Griffin and his archenemy Big Chicken, you’ll never come closer than with the third act of Road House.

Matteo Regoli

critica i film, poi gli chiede scusa si occupa di cinema, e ne è costantemente occupato è convinto che nello schermo, a contare davvero, siano le immagini porta avanti con poca costanza Fatti di Cinema, blog personale

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