Dear God, Don’t Reboot ‘Road House’

Jake Gyllenhaal can never capture the joie de vivre of the George H.W. Bush years

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 24: Jake Gyllenhaal attends the 75th Anniversary celebration screening of "The ...
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Not in my house

The 1989 action movie Road House is one of the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen. Starring Patrick Swayze, it follows James Dalton, a guy who takes a job in some random small town in Missouri as a cooler (guy who maintains peace through violence) at a bar. What is the difference between a bouncer and a cooler? I spent much of the film trying to figure that out. I think the big difference is that a cooler is management and bouncers are workers.

Sam Elliott also stars as Swayze’s mentor, and there’s a scene where he ties up his hair in a way that made my friend and I blush. The film both makes no sense and takes itself too seriously, which is why it’s a ton of fun to watch. It works so well partly because of the specifics of the time period in which it came out, meaning its magic can probably never be replicated, which is exactly why Prime Video is now rebooting it.

Gyllenhaal is now officially set to star in the reboot, which was first announced in 2021, and the question remains: why? What is the point? Well, it’s that the reboot has a new spin on the classic tale: “The new take stars Gyllenhaal as a former UFC fighter who takes a job as a bouncer at a rough-and-tumble roadhouse in the Florida Keys.” This is NOT my Road House. Also unlike the original, this version will co-star about four to six other actors that have been perpetually framed as “up and coming” for the last decade, including Billy Magnussen, Daniela Melchior, Gbemisola Ikumelo and Lukas Gage.

I know all of these people by face, and to his credit Magnussen is fantastic in every role he’s ever had. To me, he deserves better. The rest? I’m not convinced. Stop rebooting Patrick Swayze movies (did we learn nothing from 2015’s Point Break?) and stop making me try and care about Lukas Gage.