Only one thing could steal the spotlight from Jake Gyllenhaal’s abs in the new Road House movie.

Let me be clear: I simply do not have the stomach for action films.

Watching fast cars weave through traffic gives me an unwanted rush of blood through my veins. Loud explosions make me squeal. And the slightest inclination that a little droplet of blood is about to appear, well then I run for the hills. 

Maybe it's my anxiety or maybe it's the double-shot coffee I have every day — either way, when it comes to the action genre I'm a bit baby.

However, when I first saw the trailer for Prime's reimagining of the cult movie Road House, I took one respectful look at Jake Gyllenhaal's impressive....physical commitment to the role of Dalton and I thought to myself, 'well, maybe I can give this one a go?'

Make no mistake, the producers of this film know our weakness and they're going for the jugular.

They've served up one hour and forty minutes of glistening Gyllenhaal abdomen and it's quite frankly an offer I cannot refuse.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Road House. Image: Prime.

So, yeah I got sucked in — sue me!

The 2024 Road House movie tells the story of a former UFC middleweight fighter (Gyllenhaal) who ends up working at a roadhouse in the Florida Keys where things are "not as they seem".


I happily accepted the opportunity to review the reboot of the 1989 original classic. Whilst I'm acutely aware that I've said yes to a job solely based on my thirsty desire to crush on a Hollywood actor, someone has to do it and you certainly don't have to twist my arm.

I settled in and let the opening scene play out, hands up ready to cover my eyes during the fight scenes and fan them open again at the first glimpse of Jakey G in all his shirtless glory.

Let me tell you, when the first torso shot comes it's decidedly less tantalising than I was banking on. In the first 15 minutes Gyllenhaal's character Dalton cops a sharp shiv to the stomach — not the beautiful abs this early on! Please no!

Although crisis was averted not long after, but when I got my eyes on Dalton and his, quite frankly, captivating physique honestly, I was like, 'meh'. 


But hear me out. 

I wasn't underwhelmed with the gruelling training schedule he went through to achieve a UFC-fit body for the film.

I wasn't underwhelmed at his dedication to put his body on the line for the film.

I wasn't underwhelmed by the grace in which Gyllenhaal was able to dance through a fight scene.

The real reason is: I was just so overwhelmed by something else that the mere existence of his abs paled in comparison to.

I became completely and utterly transfixed by....

Dalton's never-ending collection of 'dad on vacation' Bermuda shirts.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Road House. Image: Prime.

Those.things.were.glorious. And quite frankly, stole the spotlight from the 42 abs present on screen at any given time.


Here I was all ready to hang my head in shame because the only reason I was excited to watch a movie was to cast my eyes on Jake Gyllenhaal. But underneath it all I'm just a sucker for a bold sartorial choice.

Belive me when I say I'm not overcooking this. Dalton's character, for all his buff gruffness and kinda terrifying past as a deadly UFC fighter, is given a softer comical edge with this very particular wardrobe choice.

Every day Dalton pulls from his teeny, tiny suitcase another collared beauty from his collection of Bermuda shirts resplendent with floral details and tropical accents. As the plotline gets darker, so to do the colours. A coincidence from the wardrobe department? I think not!

There's something deeply lurid about watching someone beat the living daylights out of a bar thug whilst wearing a short-sleeved shirt embellished with ombre hues usually reserved for a dad-of-two boarding a plane for Cairns. 

You just can't help but laugh and simultaneously applaud the makers of Road House for having such a depraved sense of humour.

The cast of Road House. Image: Getty.

It's this tongue-in-cheek approach to this particular brand of action/fight genre that brings Road House into 2024 and cements itself as a reboot worthy of green lighting. 


You see it pop up elsewhere in the film in the most entertaining of ways. For example, when IRL UFC star Connor McGregor makes his debut on screen in naught but the beans and potato he was born (stark naked). 

And for what it's worth if you've ever wondered if McGregor can parlay all of that cage bravado and charisma into an acting role the answer is: my god yes. There's no two ways about it, McGregor is brilliant playing unhinged bad guy, Knox. 

And he also spends most of the film resplendent in Bermuda shirts — a real win-win for us all.

Connor McGregor and Jake Gyllenhaal filming Road House. Image: Prime.

Bringing heart and humour — with a hefty dose of Fight Club — is undoubtedly the secret sauce to this remake.

Back in the late 80s when Road House 1.0 was released the success of the film was put on the buff shoulders of Patrick Swayze (RIP my gorgeous guy) and they've definitely used that tactic second time around. 

Much like Swayze, Gyllenhaal has all the charm and wit to separate this from being little more than a neoanthropic punch fest with little substance. Sure, there's an audience out there (read: UFC fans) who will get giddy at the rowdy fight scenes but the deft touch of Gyllenhaal's acting talent gives this film reach beyond that niche crowd.


I went into this film expecting to be terrified of the fight scenes, ready to lust over Jake Gyllenhaal's abs, in the end to be completely hooked by finding joy in aspects of the production I never even imagined. I guess that's the beauty of movies and exactly why I love them so — your expectations are there to be challenged. And isn't that the fun of it all?

I'm probably not the target audience for a hi-octane film about a disgraced UFC fighter who moves to Florida to help a bar keep out the riff-raff only to come face to face with his octagon-hurling past. But hey, I found something in this film that grabbed me and invited me to stay.

I loved the modern perspective this 2024 version of Road House brought; I loved the inclusion of Connor McGregor; I loved the nuance Gyllenhaal gave his troubled character.

But most of all, I loved those Bermuda shirts. 

If anything ,give this movie a watch to see what a real shirt looks like. Now that's cinema, baby.

If you're not a fan of the action genre, I still encourage you to give Road House a go. You might just be pleasantly surprised with what you see — abs, Bermuda shirts and all. 

Road House is available to stream on Prime Video from March 21.

Feature Image: Prime.

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