The Road House Remake Seems to Have a Director. Are We Really Going to Do This?

United Artists

On Saturday, The Wrap reported that original Fast & Furious director Rob Cohen had been selected to helm a remake of 1989 Patrick Swayze bounce-opera Road House. If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, please stand up from the computer right now, head to the smoldering rubble-pile where your local Blockbuster Video used to be, and sort through the wreckage with a sturdy broom handle until you find a playable DVD in the Pre-Owned Classics sinkhole; you may also use Netflix if they’ve already salted the earth to prevent a haunting by khaki-clad ghosts. But if you’re a true Roadhead, you undoubtedly understand our immediate and visceral reaction to the news: the ice-cold perspiration, the violent heaving of an Adam’s apple craving the just annihilation of a throat-rip rather than see a flawless cultural object spoiled by greed and a lack of imagination. This is not a dig at Cohen, even though his last feature was Tyler Perry’s Check Me Out, I’m a Detective Now!; no director, other than Tommy Wiseau shooting entirely on Vine and given no sustenance other than a garbage bag full of horse tranquilizers, would be an acceptable choice here. The only way to win this game is not to play at all. You don’t take the Hope Diamond and bedazzle it with Croc charms because you think a new generation needs its own spin on perfection; that was a pretty good diamond to begin with. We just compared Road House to the Hope Diamond. Turn off the dark.

We suppose there’s a reason for our hysteria — once a director’s attached, it’s a very slippery slope to filling out the call sheet with the stuff of nightmares: Gerard Butler as a whiskey-drenched Dalton, a veteran honky-tonk doorman reviled for his tendency to end fights by tearing off his opponent’s scrotum and nailing the fleshy trophy above the bar; John Mayer as the vision-impaired ax man first played by the late, great Jeff Healey; and Vera Farmiga as the actress who receives late-night phone calls from the cackling Murray family each time she’s being rutted against a wall by a grunting Butler on Cinemax Nitro. Things will only get darker and more absurd from here, because making the leap from this preliminary news to finished product is an exercise is hyperventilating insanity, so let’s pump the brakes and remember what made the original so great: Swayze shredding some windpipes. No matter how many jewel purses Butler one day collects, we’ll always have this, and maybe that’s enough. It will have to be.

Filed Under: Gerard Butler