Road House is one long bar brawl interrupted occasionally by a thread of a plot line. Patrick Swayze is the offered marquee name, but better performances can be found from Ben Gazzara, best known for his portrayal of Al Capone, Sam Elliott, and even Kevin Tigue. The music is the only thing that keeps this one interesting. Jeff Healey stars as the bar’s regular musician and treats us to some of his best music.
Daulton (Swayze) is hired to clean up a rowdy redneck bar. Along the way he manages to brush against the town’s bully (Gazzara).
When Jeff Healey’s not giving us his greatest hits the rowdy music continues to eat up the Dolby 2.0 soundtrack. This is one of those films where I would be more tempted to buy the CD soundtrack instead of the DVD. There’s nothing spectacular here. Lows in particular fall consistently flat. The brawls would certainly have benefited from an aggressive surround mix. This is pretty much a low-end release mix.
Road House is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. While the transfer is not bad, it is far from outstanding. Colors tend to bleed during the many bar fights. Blacks are solid, however, and the print is very clean. There is a pan and scan version on the disc’s flip side, but why?
You will not much find much in regards to extras on this disc… only a trailer.
It certainly tells you something in the opening credits when you find the film was written and directed by a guy named Rowdy Herrington. The film clearly serves merely as a vehicle for Swayze. If you’re a fan it will probably be worth at least a rent. I think the film might actually be pretty good with tighter edits and a shorter running time. Don’t forget. “For a great Buick call 555-7617.”