Bullet Points: Road House 2: Last Call
Show of hands. How many of you knew there was a sequel to the 1989 Patrick Swayze classic, Road House?
I found out that Road House 2: Last Call existed the way no human being wants to find out important information, while walking through a Dollar General store. But there it was in Dollar General’s DVD section staring me right in the face… I exclaimed things like “When did this come out?” and “How did I not know about this?” . I may have even asked others in the store if they knew there was a sequel to Road House.
I didn’t end up picking up the DVD that day, I think the whole Road House sequel thing was just too much to process at the time.
After a few years had passed and the shock had worn off I finally checked out Road House 2: Last Call…
- The Premise: Johnathon Schaech plays Shane Tanner, the son of Patrick Swayze’s character Dalton from the original. Shane is working for the DEA and on a case in New York City when he gets word that his uncle Nate (Will Patton) has been hospitalized after receiving a severe beating from some goons who were looking to take over his bar in Louisiana named The Black Pelican. Shane packs his things and drives all the way down to Louisiana to check on his uncle and restore order to The Black Pelican just like his dad. the master cooler, would have. Think of it as a very extreme edition of Bar Rescue.
- Location, Location, Location: The man responsible for the beating of Nate Tanner is former Black Pelican employee, Wild Bill (Jake Busey). He wants to buy the bar from Nate, but Nate is not willing to sell. So Wild Bill gets some of his goons and tries a hostile takeover of sorts. Now if you are thinking that there’s no way that Jake Busey can be the evil mastermind of this movie, you would be correct. Wild Bill is middle management, he reports to a drug lord in Miami named Victor Cross (Richard Norton). The location of The Black Pelican is perfect for Cross’ drug running business, which is why Wild Bill had been so adamant about buying the bar from Nate. Side note: After seeing Richard Norton in numerous martial arts themed movies over the years including Cyber Tracker, Gymkata and China O’Brien it was nice to see him in a movie that was a little more mainstream in its appeal. And Norton does make a great villain.
- Women of Action: Road House 2 features Bulletproof Action favorite Ellen Hollman as Beau. Beau becomes the love interest of Shane Tanner and has the misfortune of being the cousin of Wild Bill. Shane first meets Beau as he is driving into town and she’s on the side of the road with a flat tire. No matter how long I live, I will never be in a situation where I will see a woman as beautiful on the side of the road in need of assistance. Anyway while Beau is used as a pawn in the Battle for the Black Pelican, she is far from a damsel in distress. In fact she has a pretty epic fight with Marisa Quinn’s character Nadja that is sure to delight anyone who is fan of female fisticuffs. Hollman being in Road House 2 is a huge plus, not only does she give the movie some more ass kicking action, she is absolutely captivating.
- The Verdict: While Road House 2: Last Call doesn’t reach the level of the Swayze Road House, it certainly does honor it. Johnathon Schaech is not the first guy you’d think of when you think of action heroes, but he holds his own and is believable when he’s mixing it up with the bad guys. Will Patton, who you may remember from The Punisher and Armageddon, brings some action movie experience to the table. Richard Norton not only brings a plethora of action movie experience, his sinister portrayal of Victor Cross off sets the goofiness of Jake Busey’s Wild Bill and makes the villains seem like a legitimate threat. Throw in some lovely ladies to spice things up and you’ve got a fun, action packed 84 minutes that doesn’t try to be more than it needed to be.
Now, how about another round of Bullet Points before last call?
- You’re So Cool Brewster: Another familiar face in Road House 2 that quite frankly surprised me was William Ragsdale. Ragsdale is most famous for playing Charley Brewster in Fright Night. Ragsdale plays Sands Cooper, one of the bouncers at The Black Pelican. Ragsdale as a bouncer may seem a bit far fetched, but the dude did slay a vampire once.
- Rules of Engagement: One of the call backs to the 1989 Road House is when Shane recites his father’s three simple rules… #1- Never underestimate your opponent and expect the unexpected. #2- Take it outside. Never start anything in the bar unless it is absolutely necessary. #3- Be nice until it’s time not to be nice.
- Helpful Tip: If you ever find yourself in a brawl in a hospital, a bedpan makes an effective weapon.
- In Development: A Road House reboot is in the works with UFC’s own Ronda Rousey set to star.