Road House

I was 8 years old when Road House came out. I’ve never seen the trailer before but it’s the perfect trailer:

It’s even got the voice over guy from a million movie trailers.

I didn’t see Road House till years later when it was being continuously played on TBS or TNT. I forget which channel. It’s basically the Die Hard of cheesy action movies. Other movies aspire to it’s example and almost all fall by the wayside.

Part of what makes Road House so great is that it stars Patrick Swayze, who is like the perfect fusion of Cowboy and Ballet Dancer. The man deserves awards for Dirty Dancing and Point Break alone. He’s that generation’s Keanu Reeves for those two movies alone. Point Break is the Road House of Bromantic Action Adventure movies, and also stars that Hollywood powerhouse: Keanu Reeves, who is the Patrick Swayze of his time.

Patrick Swayze plays Dalton, a warrior-philosopher-bouncer, who travels the countryside looking for bars to clean up with his mixture of cryptic sayings and cool demeanor. Oh, and his kicks. He kicks a lot. He’s haunted by his violent past, fraught with tearing out people’s necks with his bare hands. He gets called to Jasper where he has to turn a dingy bar into a TGI Friday’s, which he does masterfully. Seriously, the man is gentrification incarnate.

He’s resisted by a local gangster and his cadre of goons. They’re all pretty unremarkable, really.

I have a theory that ties into the most important scene in the movie. Dalton is practicing tai-chi with no shirt on and every person that sees him instantly falls in love with him. That includes Walt Whitman, the guy he’s renting his barn loft from, and the local gangster who is driving by. Seriously, watch and re-watch that scene:

I think what motivates the local gangster is really his impossible love for Dalton.

Road House is probably the best bad movie ever made. Movies like Fast 5 or Fast 6 or Furious 7 or whatever aspire to be as good as Road House and I can’t quite pick out what is brilliant about it. I guess it manages to be ridiculous and cheesy but never not completely sincere.


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