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Road House Reviews

The oldest of western plots gets updated in ROAD HOUSE, starring Patrick Swayze as Dalton, the man with one name who rides into town to restore law and order to seedy saloons. Dalton is quite a guy: he's got a degree in philosophy, he's amazingly skilled in the martial arts, he's a mystic who feels no pain, and he killed a man in Memphis (self-defense, of course). Now he's the new super-bouncer at the Double Deuce bar in Jasper, Missouri--but there's more than a bar to clean up there, the whole town being under the extortionate thumb of the vicious Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara). When Dalton not only threatens to free Jasper from tyranny, but also starts dating the pretty doctor (Kelly Lynch) whom Wesley adores, the stage is set for a prolonged, silly showdown. Director Rowdy Herrington lives up to his name: once he's seen to it that all the conventions of the western are in place, he presents an all-out brawl on the average of about every 12 minutes or so, and the battles quickly grow tiresome. Swayze is up to a part that requires him merely to show his muscles and dexterity, but Gazzara is trapped in his hopelessly evil caricature, leaving Sam Elliott (in a too-limited role) to provide the film's only real charm. In 2003 ROAD HOUSE was adapted into a tongue-in cheek theater piece by writer-director Tim Haskell. It starred kickboxer and occasional actor Taimak Guarriello who, as the one-named Taimak, starred in cult item THE LAST DRAGON (1985). The production's full title was The Stage Version of the Cinema Classic That Starred Patrick Swayze, Except that This One Stars Taimak from the '80s Cult Classic "The Last Dragon" Wearing a Blonde Mullet Wig, which pretty much says it all.