Jake Gyllenhaal is now filming the ill-advised Road House remake, or at least, they’re getting in some photography around a real UFC event, because in this iteration, Dalton is a UFC fighter. I am on the record being opposed to this remake, but as if I didn’t already have one hundred reasons to hate it, a clip surfaced over the weekend of a scene being filmed at UFC 285, billing a “Harris vs. Dalton” fight, giving me reason number one hundred and one.


I believe the gist of Road House Redux is that Dalton is a RETIRED fighter, so maybe this is a flashback, but even if it is, it’s still all wrong. Dalton’s whole deal is that no one expects him to be THE Dalton, because at a glance, he doesn’t look like a badass. “I thought you’d be bigger,” and all that. But by establishing Dalton as a professional fighter, current or former, you’re already taking that off the table, because now he has a reputation outside the world of bar bouncers. (This is the most fun thing about Road House, it presupposes a world where bar bouncers, or coolers, are famous in their own right. Like, you can SMELL the cocaine on that idea.) 


And now here’s NuDalton sucker-smacking his opponent, which I guess can be establishing a contrast to a later-developed philosophy of “be nice, until it’s time to not be nice”, but again, Dalton’s grounding isn’t as a fighter. He’s a philosopher. If Dalton has any professional fight experience, we never hear about it. He’s just a guy who seemed to fall into bar bouncing and proved to have a knack for it. Road House is extremely stupid, but it’s smart about the way it updates the myth of the gunslinger, of the mysterious Man In Black who ride into town, takes down the local bad guy, and rides out again. The more we know about Dalton’s background, though, the less mythical he becomes. By establishing a life before and/or outside of bouncing, the new Road House has just killed Dalton’s mystique, never mind the egregious detail of making him the type to strike first. 

Congratulations to Jake G and everyone involved in Road House Redux—Doug Liman?! Nick Cassavetes?! Y’all are letting us down!—you have profoundly misunderstood the assignment. We do not need a Road House remake, Road House is a perfect movie, a pristine time capsule of late-Eighties Hollywood excess and Patrick Swayze’s uniquely appealing soft-tough guy routine. But to remake it and so badly misconstrue what Road House is and how it operates in the New Western genre, is egregious. This is our first look at what the new Road House will be, thanks, I hate it.