Road House 2: Last Call (2006) – Review

2 Stars

Road House 2: Last Call is an idiotic sequel that disregards the simple rules and philosophy setup in the previous film. Fresh off his portrayal in 8mm 2, Johnathon Schaech steps into another direct to video sequel. Schaech, who resembles Antonio Sabato Jr., takes over for the late Patrick Swayze. Obviously Schaech is no Swayze and he sure as hell is no Nicolas Cage. But he does manage to bring a bit of (limited) charm to the proceedings. The plot goes something like this; Shane Tanner (Schaech), a DEA agent, returns to Louisiana determined to bust the drug dealers terrorizing his uncle Nate (Patton). Turns out the local gangs want the Black Pelican, a rowdy bar owned by Nate, because they consider it prime real estate for drug trafficking. So, Shane goes undercover and decides to take over the Pelican for his Uncle. Not before long Tanner realizes he is in much over his head, and these gangs are backed by heavy firepower out of Miami.

Jake Busey goes the villain route here. Though, he is not nearly as menacing as his father Gary Busey in Lethal Weapon. He is the type of villain that is constantly beating on his subordinates. Will Patton seems to be the only one on the right channel. His presence is an unexpected surprise and he acquits himself nicely in what is basically a cameo. In this dull wannabe action-er it is Patton, an underrated actor, who provides the necessary jolt of energy and fun. The first film is one of the best exploitation films released by a major studio since the 1970s. It’s a ready made franchise with roots in the western and martial arts genre. The sad reality that we never got a proper sequel is compounded by the fact it is this mediocre movie.

The major miscalculation, by writers Miles Chapman, Johnathon Schaech, Richard Chizmar, 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 asshole. 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 dreck that typically populates the direct-to-DVD world. It is a good looking picture with well choreographed fight scenes and a rather breezy 86 minute running time. I may have been kinder to this film had it been simply titled Last Call. The Road House connection is so vague and inorganic that it feels as if the producers renamed the script in an attempted cash grab. I wonder how that worked out for them? If they realized they sank a viable franchise? I wonder if they care?

Director: Scott Ziehl
Stars: Johnathon Schaech, Ellen Hollman, Jake Busy

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