Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two-Year Anniversary: "Road House"

Yes, it's time again to celebrate the day Cinema Won started. And now, after 160 reviews and nearly 400 posts, Cinema Won turns 2. And it got me to wondering, what movies were released on May 19, Cinema Won's birthday, you know, because I'm a nerd. So, the next 2 reviews will look at two movies that share a birthday with Cinema Won. And to kick things off, we look at a man that loves like there's no tomorrow. That sounded weird.

Best in the Biz (Bizz?)
      Released on May 19, 1989, turns 24 this year, which is interesting because it's a birthday that has no real significance at all. Happy birthday! The movie is something of a guy movie icon, which you can tell from the poster. I mean, sweaty meditating, breathing on women's necks, exploding cars AND leaning on walls. It's a man's paradise. Road House is directed by Rowdy Herrington (A Murder of Crows) and is written by David Lee Henry (8 Million Ways to Die) and Hilary Henkin (Wag the Dog). The film follows Dalton (Patrick Swayze, Dirty Dancing), the most talented bouncer in all the land. He's hired by Tilghman (Kevin Tighe, K-9), who wants to turn around the bar brawl torn bar, the Double Deuce. There, he is forced to contend with Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara, The Thomas Crowne Affair), the town bully and rich person, falls in love with the bad guys daughter (?) Doc (Kelly Lynch, Magic City) and reunites with an old friend, Garrett (Sam Elliott, Hulk).

1989: The Year of Neon

Uhhhhhhh, Boobs

      While Road House has developed a little following, I think most people would agree that the movie is relatively simple. After all, the movie really can be summed up in just a few words. Boobs, booze, punch seems to be just enough of a review as this movie needs. And that's not entirely a bad thing. While it may be a shallow movie, there is no denying that Road House is an entertaining movie. I can see why it's considered a guy movie and maybe that's part of why a liked it so much. The movie never attempts to challenge the viewer, but it isn't stupid either. It makes good uses of what it does well. The fight scenes are strong and fairly realistic. No one pulls out any random kung-fu. It's the clean stuff. You know, bottles being broken over people's heads, tables breaking under the weight of the guy that just got thrown on it. It's matched with some nice and cheesy dialogue. Where people talk about how "Pain don't hurt" and that "Nobody ever wins a fight." Real deep stuff.

Real Deep Stuff

      And thankfully it's all backed by a pretty strong cast. Swayze is cool enough to pull off the ridiculously perfect Dalton and seems to understand the cheesiness of the movie he's in. As a result, he seems to be having a lot of fun in the role, just like the audience is. Elliott is great in everything and here is no exception. His character really is pointless and only serves as a plot point, but still it's a lot of fun when he pops up on-screen. Gazzara though, play the slimiest of slimey villains and it is awesome. He is so hilariously evil that even in a bad movie you'd still be rooting for the heroes to kick his ass. I mean, one of his bad guys drives a freaking monster truck and they never address why. But they sure do make use of it. In case you were ever wondering what happens when you bring a monster truck to a car dealership, this movie explains it all.

I have no words.
The Verdict

      Road House is a pretty great cheesy movie. Swayze plays the perfect action hero perfectly, with him being so ludicrously good and Gazzara being so ludicrously bad that you have no choice but to get invested in the plot. The movie has so much fighting and gratuitous nudity, so there's always something interesting on screen, which is good, since the plot is obviously lame and the 80s are definitely not washing away from this movie. It's bad, but so what? You'll love it anyway. Road House gets 5 stars out of 6.

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