Ronda Rousey is… Road House?
I guess so! MGM is remaking the Patrick Swayze (R.I.P.) action movie Road House, with the twist of adding MMA fighter Ronda Rousey in the Swayze role. I have no idea if Rousey can act. But Arnold Schwarzenegger was once just a bodybuilder, Swayze was once just a dancer. Rousey has appeared in some movies, but no one is expecting her to turn into Meryl Streep. Acting is beside the point, since the fascinating part of this deal is watching MGM turn the keys to an action/sex movie over to a woman.
For all of you who have missed the repeated re-airings of the 80s classic, Swayze plays Dalton, a cool and smart guy (he has a PhD in philosophy!) who runs bouncers (known as a cooler). So that’s what you can do with your philosophy degree, everyone – train bouncers! A small town bar called the Double Deuce hires Dalton away from a New York City bar and convinces him to train up the local bouncers to deal with outbreaks of nightly violence.
You see, things at the Double Deuce down in Jasper, Missouri are so bad that a cage protects the band from the patrons. The fist thing I always think when I watch this movie is “is this a thing that happens? Do small town bar owners scour the country for talented bouncers and lure them to the south with awesome job offers? Are coolers so sought after they become world famous? And what kind of patrons are these that attack the house band? Are the people of Jasper wild animals?” I have so many questions!
Anyway, Dalton’s buddy is leading the band but he’s now blind. And Dalton gets injured and then fixed up by the local doctor (Kelly Lynch), who he totally falls in love with. But she’s the ex-girlfriend of a local heavy, who decides to rid Jasper of this Dalton character once and for all! Dalton brings in his other friend (Sam Elliott), who is one of the best damn bouncers in the world! It’s totally 80s cheese and therefore lovely.
Those in the mood for great writing should treat yourself to Roger Ebert‘s 1989 review of the movie, which is delightful.
We are expected to believe that the sadist financed these hunting expeditions by shaking down the businessmen in a town that, on the visible evidence, contains a bar, a general store, a Ford dealership and two residences. “Road House” is the kind of movie that leaves reality so far behind that you have to accept it on its own terms.
Was it intended as a parody? I have no idea, but I laughed more during this movie than during any of the so-called comedies I saw during the same week.
This is the first movie in a long time to use the line, “Prepare to die!” And how long has it been since the same movie contained a) a dash into an exploding building to save an occupant; b) a rock ‘n’ roll band protected by a Plexiglas shield; c) goons who line up for instructions and call the bad guy “boss”; d) a lecture on the fine points of bouncing; e) a sexy woman doctor who goes all the way on the first date, and f) random quotations from the great Western philosophers?
Spend some time on the great RogerEbert.com website and thank me later.
I’ll be disappointed if the movie doesn’t give Rousey the chance to yell lines like “Be Nice. Until It’s Time Not to Be Nice.” There’s no reason why a woman can’t make the same kind of bad/good movies like Road House. Isn’t that basically what has sustained Arnold’s career for all these years – uttering ridiculous taglines while standing rigidly while all hell breaks loose? If it’s good for the goose…