Conor McGregor Somehow Steals Jake Gylenhaal’s Show in Remake of 80s Classic

Conor McGregor Somehow Steals Jake Gylenhaal’s Show in Remake of 80s Classic
Image credit: Amazon Prime Video

The UFC champion can make a success of his first movie appearance.


  • Road House, a remake of the classic 1980’s movie, has recently premiered at the SXSW festival, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and the fighter Conor McGregor.
  • Critics are sure McGregor’s remarkable acting in it gives a lot to the movie.

When sportsmen enter the cinema industry, it’s always a two-way street: while the first possible ending is represented by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who successfully transformed from a bodybuilder to an actor and gained tons of public love, the second one considers some awkward movie appearances and small cameos.

Conor McGregor, an Irish MMA fighter and UFC champion, has recently presented his first try in acting, as he played in a new reboot of the iconic Patrick Swayze-starring 1980’s film Road House under Doug Liman’s direction and alongside the acclaimed Jake Gyllenhaal. The latter portrays Elwood Dalton, an ex-UFC fighter who takes a job as a bar bouncer in the Florida Keys, while McGregor’s antagonist, Knox, appears to be an obnoxious guy who really loves to fight and to create trouble, menacing Elwood.

Conor McGregor Somehow Steals Jake Gylenhaal’s Show in Remake of 80s Classic - image 1

The first critical reviews after the movie’s screenings at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, are mostly positive, and these impressions include admiration and, to some extent, surprise, caused by the UFC champion’s convincing acting. Not questioning his numerous accomplishments in sports, the idea of McGregor’s lasting appearance, not a short cameo, seemed dubious to many critics, and, presumably, they were all wrong.

There is even an opinion, shared by some of the viewers, who have already seen Road House, McGregor is its main novelty, making it not so straight-forward as the severely criticized screenplay implies. “It didn’t hit me how pedestrian and flat Road House was until Conor McGregor showed up in the story,” admits the critic Sean O'Connell.

Besides, there is a hot take regarding Gyllenhaal’s performance in the movie, which is claimed to be not so bright as the McGregor’s one, as the actor doesn’t sell much his conventional 80’s macho character, presenting us nothing new from not only what he did before, but from other sport dramas, for instance, the actor’s Southpaw (2015).

On the other hand, it is unclear how much acting McGregor really presented in this movie or he just showed “a rowdy and charismatic Irishman who likes to hit people and show off his ridiculous tattoos” on cinema screens, as wrote the critic Christian Zilko.

Despite all possible doubts and prejudice, it’s obvious the presence of a real famous fighter provides the necessary spark for the Road House movie, whether due to his acting or his unusual appearance. Stream the movie on Prime Video starting March 21.

Sources: CinemaBlend, Indie Wire