“ROAD HOUSE 2”— “Like Father, Like Son”

“Road House 2”

“Like Father, Like Son…”

Amos Lassen

Shane Tanner (Johnathon Schaech) son of the legendary ”cooler” Dalton, is an undercover DEA agent who has all the right moves. He’s put away his share of dealers but hasn’t made a big-time bust. When a deadly drug runner begins terrorizing his uncle Nate’s (Will Patton) bar in Louisiana, Shane leaves New York and heads south, determined to settle the score. 

The Black Pelican is known for its rough and rowdy atmosphere. It’s also considered prime real estate for drug trafficking – and one local dealer, Wild Bill (Jake Busey), is determined to make this road house his personal office by any means necessary. But when Shane takes over the Pelican for his battered uncle, he’s about to find out that this local drug ring is bigger and deadlier than he ever imagined. With help from a gorgeous blonde (Ellen Hollman’) and backup from the DEA, Shane is out to make the biggest bust of his career and exact a lethal shot of revenge along the way.

Shane arrives in Louisiana, to oversee the bar while Uncle Nate recuperates. Meanwhile, Wild Bill is still dealing lots of drugs and intent on purchasing the bar already.

“Road House 2” is to be commended for one small thing: It’s got a half-decent bunch of brawls in it -and- it’s got easily one of the most ferocious catfights ever. This is a mindless, silly mess, an idiotic sequel that disregards the simple rules and philosophy setup in the previous film. The major miscalculation is in creating one of the most obnoxious female love interests in screen history. Ellen Hollman is an attractive woman, but as written, she is a total zero. Her inclusion in the film is absolutely perfunctory. She is not a character so much as a plot device. “Road House 2” is not terrible, especially considering some of the direct-to-DVD world. It is a good looking picture with well-choreographed fight scenes and a rather breezy 86 minute running time.

Making a good sequel — particularly one that contains none of the actors, characters, or locations from the original film — requires one thing above all else: getting the tone right. Anybody sitting down to watch “Road House 2: Last Call” will expect a campy, fun action movie that takes place in the same outsized world of legendary coolers, tan villains, and internal strife. Shane Tanner isn’t as fun much as Patrick Swayze as Dalton in the original. Swayze had an indefinable energy that allowed him to play everything to the over-the-top fullest.

The same can’t be said for Schaech. The opening scene seems to exist to paint Shane Turner with the same brush as his “father”— an undercover DEA agent at a strip club, Shane spends some post-arrest time receiving a lap dance from another undercover DEA agent. When he lists Dalton’s rules to the workers at Nate’s bar, Shane seems sort of amused (and so do his employees) instead of absolutely committed to what amounts to basic rules for bouncers and bar backs.

It obviously doesn’t come near the original, but why does it even try? The connections to the first film are thinner than cheesecloth, and it’s sort of pathetic to ride another film’s coattails just to make a quick buck on name recognition.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature

  Audio: English 5.1 Surround, French Dolby Surround

  English and French Subtitles

  Road House 2 Trailer

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