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Road House Redux: When Paradise Punches Back (2024) Movie Review

Ex-UFC fighter Dalton takes a job as a bouncer at a Florida Keys roadhouse, only to discover that this paradise is not all it seems.

Welcome to my corner of the internet, fellow cinephiles and seekers of screen gems that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Today, we're diving headfirst into the Florida Keys, but not for a sun-soaked vacation. Instead, we're here for a brawl with the new Amazon Prime Movie, "Road House." So, grab your popcorn or, given the setting, perhaps a piña colada is more appropriate. Let's get into it.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniela Melchior, and, in a twist that no one saw coming unless you've been living under a rock (or perhaps wisely avoiding celebrity fight matches), Conor McGregor. The plot unfolds with ex-UFC fighter Dalton, portrayed by Gyllenhaal, who decides that getting punched in the face for a living in a ring is too mainstream. So, naturally, he becomes a bouncer at a roadhouse in the Florida Keys. Because where else does one go for a career change? Silicon Valley? Too passé. The twist? This paradise has more shadows than a solar eclipse, and Dalton's about to find out the hard way.

The fight choreography deserves a standing ovation. It's as if the stunt team decided that if they're going to do this, they're going to do it with the grace of a ballet and the impact of a freight train. Every punch, kick, and improbably acrobatic bartender maneuver is a delight. It's the cinematic equivalent of eating dessert before dinner, and I'm here for it.

Now, onto the less savory bits. Making Dalton suicidal at the start is like deciding your chocolate cake needs a dash of salt – on the icing. He's traditionally been a pillar of confidence, not a beacon of existential dread. I understand the attempt to add depth, but it felt more like we were digging a hole the character didn't need. And Conor McGregor's debut? If cringe had a visual representation, it would be his scenes. It's as though he walked onto the set and someone yelled, "Just be yourself, but also, don't."

On a brighter note, the Road House music is pretty good. It's like discovering a playlist that's all killer, no filler, which, in this metaphorical roadhouse, would probably mean something entirely different.

Extra Info: Filming took place during the actual event of UFC 285, adding a layer of authenticity to the punches, or at least to the sweat. Initially, Ronda Rousey was eyed for a gender-swapped remake, which, let's be honest, dodged a bullet there faster than Neo in "The Matrix." The filmmakers, in an effort to not have the fight scenes resemble a chaotic dance more than actual combat, introduced a new multi-pass technique. It's like they decided traditional fight choreography was too 20th century and innovated their way into making each brawl a masterpiece of mayhem.

Oh, and if you were wondering, yes, this is the third installment of the "Road House" saga. The first one gave us philosophical musings like "Pain don't hurt," and the second one, well, let's just say it's the sequel you watch when you've decided your evening plans include questioning your life choices.

Ranking: 7.1/10. Why not a solid 7 or a daring 8? Because like a bouncer at closing time, it does its job with a few punches thrown in for good measure but doesn't quite become the legend it aspires to be.

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