When it comes to action is there anything wilder than a bar room brawl?
At their best, they’re pure chaos. Just a roomful of people whupping-ass.
For decades they used to be a regular feature of any self-respecting western. But as ‘horse operas’ passed out of fashion there have been fewer and fewer to enjoy.
Fortunately, every now and a film resurrects their spirit even if the setting is no longer a saloon in the Old West.
And that’s what we got with Road House (1989).
The film’s unlikely plot sees Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliott as bouncers hired to clean up a lawless nightclub. While the setting is modern day, this is a western in all but name. (Swayze and Elliot are essentially sheriffs, hired to clean up the town, and take on the evil land baron played by Ben Gazzara). So, it’s hardly a surprise when we get a rootin’ tootin’ bar room brawl to enjoy.
The scene sees Gazzara’s henchmen start some trouble in the Double Deuce bar. Swayze, Elliott and his team of bouncers then engage in several minutes of classic bar room fighting complete with all the chair smashing, bottle throwing, table destroying action you could ever wave a pool cue at (speaking of which, there’s some violently creative use of one in this scene).
While Swayze is the star of the film, the star of the scene is undoubtedly Sam Elliott. With his shaggy mane of greying hair, louche, sun-dazed cow-poke style he’s never looked or sounded better. And he gets to kick some serious butt too.