The Road House Remake Is A Thing That Is Happening
Men just don't fight in pajama pants anymore.
Early yesterday we received the grim news that a remake of one of the storied entries in America's classic catalog of Movies To Watch While Hungover had gotten a director:
MGM has tapped Rob Cohen to direct its upcoming remake of the 1989 Patrick Swayze movie "Road House," TheWrap has learned.
Rowdy Herrington directed the original film, which was produced by Joel Silver. Kelly Lynch co-starred alongside Sam Elliott and Ben Gazzara.
The original "Road House" followed a tough bouncer with a mysterious past who is hired to tame a dirty bar in Missouri.
Cohen coming on board is only one step in making this a reality, but it's a significant step. A significant, shitty step. First Red Dawn, now Road House. Hollywood apparently won't rest until it's finished taking a giant dump on Patrick Swayze's cinematic legacy.
It's difficult for me to continue dredging up outrage over Hollywood's insistence on cannibalize itself, but as a Houstonian, I'm fiercely protective of Swayze. He's made some inarguably shitty movies, but they're *our* shitty movies.
And make no mistake, *nobody* liked Road House when it was released. It may have a "40% fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but the majority of those positive reviews have been posted in the last ten years. Now that the studios have already pillaged the "decent" movie archives, gird your loins for Krull 2015 and Deathstalker Returns.
Just to roundhouse kick the point home, here are a few more reasons this is a bad idea.
Ben Gazzara Is Dead
With all due respect to Steve McQueen, Gazzara deserves some consideration for the title of "coolest doggone mother scratcher on the silver screen," and not just because he's in one of my favorite war movies of all time. It's hard to think of anyone these days who could make a laughably evil character like Brad Wesley sinister the way Gazzara did. MGM will probably just get Bryan Cranston, because OMG Heisenberg.
So Is Jeff Healey
The new Double Deuce -- or whatever they end up calling it, probably the "Crow Bar" or something similarly hilarious and original -- may not even feature blues music (my money is on a trance DJ). But in the event that it is, what charisma impaired modern musician do you get? John Mayer? Lenny Kravitz? Why not just go full stinkbomb and hire Kenny G? The whole soundtrack could be him sustaining one note for 90 goddamn minutes.
Dropping Stuffed Polar Bears On Fat Guys Is No Longer Appropriate
It's hard to figure out who would be more outraged by this scene in 2013: the anti-hunting crowd or those decrying the negative depiction of overweight people. Given the technology available, I expect this scene to be entirely CGI, but to avoid offending anybody it will now show a wooly mammoth crushing a white supremacist Crossfit enthusiast.
Rowdy Herrington vs. Rob Cohen
Road House was one of Herrington's few directorial efforts, but the guy was a grip on Repo Man and also worked on A Nightmare on Elm Street, Humanoids From the Deep, and H.O.T.S. Plus, his name is ROWDY HERRINGTON.
Rob Cohen, on the other hand, gave the world xXx, Alex Cross, and is responsible for unleashing the lingering cinematic typhus that is the Fast and Furious franchise. Check and mate.
You Can't Faze The Swayze
In all seriousness, there are any number of chiseled waterheads who could attempt to fill Dalton's drawstring trousers (Channing Tatum? Ryan Reynolds? Hayden fucking Christensen?), but none could capture the oily, mulleted grace that was Patrick Swayze in his prime. I exaggerate for comic effect all the time on this blog, but there really are certain movies that are distinctly of the era in which they were created. Road House is one of them, and I remain convinced the only reason the suits at MGM greenlit this was because Swayze is no longer around to go out to Los Angeles and eagle claw them all in the throats.
Get the Theater and Arts Newsletter
Exclusive discounts and announcements to Houston theater shows and art events