When Dalton (Patrick Swayze) was cherry picked to run security at the redneck hook-up and/ or punch-up Double Deuce bar, it was expected that he would bring a little more order and an authority figure. What wasn’t expected is how many lives he would change for the better.
Each night the reprobates, scumbags, scrags and brawlers circle awkwardly, full of cheap alcohol, unaware that they are being judged. Dalton perches calmly on a stool like a small plastic Jesus on the dashboard, watching on and biding time. Silently making wise choices and being better than you.
Dalton does things his way, and his way works. He imparts his version of the bouncer’s gospel to the team in the form of redneck calendar quotes and grants the occasional shy smile to the buxom hotties seeking guidance, which he grants only in wise words.
Once all lesser options are exhausted, Dalton – still quiet and centred – moves swiftly and decisively into action, bringing peace and harmony to the universe once more with minimal violence and disruption (he never even follows through on his punches) before returning to the stool to recharge his chi through the limitless recuperative powers of self satisfaction.
Away from dedicating his life to non-violence through violence, Dalton sets up his personal retreat dojo in a tranquil rural setting – he doesn’t even have a tv! – performing tai chi and presumably ruminating over the world’s issues. Often while shirtless…
Of course Dalton and his sage ways get noticed. The local Donald Trump magnate decides Dalton should either be on his team or elsewhere. The smartest chick in town (Kelly Lynch) – who fortunately happens to be one of the hottest – decides she wants Dalton in any position that he opts for. Dalton just sits quietly and bides his time, concentrating on never selling out his principles and friends.
Just as the heat is turned up Sam Elliott arrives with his moustache full of wisdom to act as Dalton’s personal cowboy-booted Yoda, before a (chakra) balls to the wall finale that includes death by polar bear culminates in quite possibly the dumbest ending sequence ever.
Roadhouse is definitely a member of the ‘so bad it’s good’ club, and the laughs are exclusively of the non-intended variety. It has enough semi-decent moments to not condemn it to D movie hell and a few that find have gained it a cult following, but ultimately it is another 90 minute shrug that most people will forget instantly.
Except for the polar bear kill. That’s classic for all the wrong reasons.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. Patrick Swayze’s other film is just essentially Dirty Dancing for gullible guys.