Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Road House 2 (2006)

Road House was not a particularly successful film at the cinema, but did quite well on home video and ultimately gathered something of a cult following.  I guess said cult following probably included some of the people behind this sequel, which emerged no less than 17 years after the original.

Our hero now is Shane Tanner, a DEA agent and son of the now-deceased James Dalton.  When Tanner's uncle Nate is attacked and hospitalised, the younger man ditches his complaining boss and drives down to Louisiana to take over running his uncle's bar until Nate can get back on his feet.  And if you think that in doing this he's going to run into some local bad guy of some kind, which will inevitably lead to them having some kind of explosive showdown involving lots of mano a mano action, well you'd be exactly right.

If you were instead thinking that running out on the DEA without permission should get Tanner in all sorts of trouble, well, you're entirely too sensible to be wstching this movie.

So Road House 2 riffs on the original film in ways both big - the basic plot outline is more or less the same, up to and including the love interest with a personal connection to the bad guy - and small, such as callbacks to particular scenes or lines of dialogue.  Though how many of the latter you'll notice if you haven't recently watched the first film, I'm not sure.  Probably only the ones that the movie really pointedly emphasises, such as Dalton's Three Rules.

Like the original film, Road House 2 is a big old ball of cheese.  However whereas part of the original film's appeal came from its seeming obliviousness to how goofy it was, the sequel feels much more purposely schlocky.  Fortunately it's good-natured enough about that schlockiness that I found it quite good fun: there's a sense of affection for the original material here, unlike in the case of some recent Hollywood remakes that basically seemed to be about mocking the source material.

Road House 2 also profits from having much better fight choreography than the original, and from actually giving the love interest something to do other than be the love interest.  Still, unless you're part of the cult following I mentioned above, or you just loving watching Jake Busey chew scenery as a bad guy, I'm not sure there's really enough here to actually recommend it.

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