HOLLYWOOD—Let me just say this, some of the acting in the 2024 remake of the 80s classic “Roadhouse” starring the late great Patrick Swayze is not stellar. I’m looking at you Connor McGregor, but Jake Gyllenhaal totally makes up for that hooky acting that McGregor delivers, as our protagonist who loves to put a beating on people.

I have to admit I’ve heard of the classic starring Swayze, but I’ve never actually seen it, which may have an impact on my praise for this entry. This is Jake Gyllenhaal’s film from start to finish. He is the main focal point, he brings the charisma, the charm, a bit of humor and fighting skills which are quite impressive to say the least. I’m actually stunned that Amazon and MGM didn’t push to have this flick in theaters. I mean, it is legit a very entertaining action flick, one of the best I have seen so far in 2024.

The dialogue is not great; it is slightly cheesy, especially those lines that Knox (Connor McGregor) utters, but I shouldn’t have expected much because McGregor is just venturing into the acting arena. There is some bare butt nudity from McGregor for those who are into that.  As they say, acting is NOT for everyone. With that said the audience is introduced to Dalton, a tortured UFC fighter who earns his dollars by scamming people. He meets Frankie (Jessica Williams), who owns a bar, better known as ‘The Roadhouse’ where she is looking for muscle aka as a bouncer, to handle the wild crowd and rowdy guests that show up and have one too many drinks. Dalton is hesitant, but ultimately accepts after becoming friendly with some townsfolk.

There are plenty of supporting characters, but they truly come and go; if they are connected to the narrative, it is only because of Dalton. Including his love interest Ellie (Daniela Melchior), who has a few secrets of her own. Billy Magnussen portrays the big bad Ben Brandt, who is focused on forcing Frankie to sell the establishment for his own private element. He’s a wannabe villain, he isn’t actually scary at all, Knox (McGregor) is, but even he is a bit tame when it comes villainy. We meet other local townsfolk and workers at ‘The Roadhouse’ including Billy (Lukas Gage), who is a bit of a weakling until Dalton teaches him a few tricks.

What really works for this remake almost 40 years to date from the original are the fight sequences. They are absolutely amazing to watch. You see the brute force of violence, the explosions, the hand-to-hand combat and some stunts that in real life you just won’t survive such things. When I want a fun action movie, “Roadhouse” gave me exactly what I wanted and some. It clocks in just less than two hours, but it is a fun two hours from start to finish. I wasn’t bored watching; I didn’t look at my watch and Jake Gyllenhaal is a bit of a badass to say the least.

The big climatic fight between Knox and Dalton will have fans of UFC or MMA fighting salivating. It is well choreographed and delivers aches and pains as you witness two guys literally pummel one another. Could I see a sequel to the movie? Absolutely, but whether Jake returns for it is another story. I think that streaming release versus theatrical hurt the movie in terms of drawing in a bit audience. It was almost like releasing “Fast and Furious” on a streaming service instead of a theater where people would flock to see it. Bad marketing strategy if you ask me. However, for those with Amazon Prime, “Roadhouse (2024)” is a great Friday night or weekend flick if you don’t have much planned.