By Lynn Venhaus

I was bored silly by Amazon’s unnecessary, ultraviolent streaming remake of “Road House,” a pale imitation of the original 1989 cheese-fest that starred the chiseled Patrick Swayze rocking a mullet as James Dalton, a black belt in karate and a Ph.D. in philosophy.

Granted, I am not the demo. This re-imagining is a macho man’s movie.

In “Southpaw” (2015) fighting mode, Oscar-nominated Jake Gyllenhaal is a campy, corny Dalton for the 21st century, a troubled soul who speaks with his fast fists. With the first name of Elwood, he’s jacked as an ex-UFC mixed martial arts fighter who pummels many a tough guy.

But sadly, Gyllenhaal is flat, nowhere near as magnetic as the late great Swayze, who knew how to elevate his roaming cooler in that rowdy ‘80s B-movie with his off-the-charts charisma, a world-class side-eye, and a Zen approach.

Devoid of any charm – where is Sam Elliott when you desperately need him? – this new version is mostly wall-to-wall vicious blood-spurting fighting where people are intent on maiming and breaking bones. It’s a whole lot of ugly. (Not that Swayze didn’t crack some liquored-up redneck skulls and rack up a high-body count).

The filmmakers have switched the location from a roughneck Jasper, Missouri honkytonk, the Double Deuce, to a coastal paradise in the Florida Keys, a fictional place called Glass Key Island. The open-air beach spot, owned by Jessica Williams (of “Shrinking”), is generically called “Road House,” and its claim to fame is that Hemingway drank there. OK…

In his new role as a highly paid bar bouncer, Elwood’s lean mean fighting machine takes on a lot of low-life high-wattage testosterone, and we watch big sweaty guys covered in tattoos mess with each other.

They unwisely pick fights with Dalton, who tries to control a deep well of rage. But like Swayze, he’s incorruptible and far smarter than the goons he’s tasked with keeping in line.

Co-screenwriters Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry plus R. Lance Hill, whose name appeared on the first one as David Lee Henry, responsible for the story and screenplay with Hilary Henkin, have collaborated on a thin, uneven story with extremely ridiculous dialogue. Maybe they used AI because that script is soulless.

Like the original, it takes itself far too seriously – and should just have some fun with the over-the-top melodrama. Most surprisingly, it is directed by Doug Liman, who has helmed several crowd-pleasing films, like “Swingers,” “The Bourne Identity” and “Edge of Tomorrow.” Where is the verve?

The unremarkable cast brings very little personality to this tale and play mostly unlikable characters. In an off-putting opening, Post Malone, the singer, plays a hulking guy who isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and later, as a major big deal, Irish professional boxer Conor McGregor has a protracted fight, but his acting skills are severely limited.

The supporting cast providing the story’s conflicts are no match for the original – love interest Kelly Lynch had electric chemistry with Swayze while Melchior isn’t given much to do in this second go-round. Ben Gazzara’s slimy crime lord was a far superior villain than Billy Magnussen’s hard-to-believe slick corporate manipulator.

Furniture and glass break, bodies break, and the whole metaphysical dilemma about people’s purpose on earth is given a once-over. Eyes glare, fists fly, and highly choreographed fights ensue – although pointlessly heavily CGI’d in the remake.

Whatever floats your boat, but this floundering “Road House” doesn’t bring anything new to the genre. It seems to be just a whole lotta empty noise.

“Road House” is a 2024 action-thriller directed by Doug Liman and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniela Melchior, Billy Magnussen, Jessica Williams, Conor McGregor, Lukas Cage, Hannah Lanier, and Post Malone. It is rated R for violence throughout, pervasive language and some nudity and has a run time of 2 hours, 1 minute. It began streaming on Amazon Prime on March 21. Lynn’s Grade: D-.

The original “Road House” is now streaming on MAX, FYI.

The 1989 “Road House” original cast of Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch and Sam Elliott.

By Lynn Venhaus

“No Time to Die” is everything you want in a Bond movie, a super-spy thrill ride elevated by director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s flair for assembling dynamic action sequences and his attention to details.

And in a welcome surprise – assertive women show up in an impressive triumvirate of Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch and Lea Seydoux.

For the fifth and final entry in the Daniel Craig era as the suave James Bond, our very human hero has left active service at M16 and is enjoying a tranquil life of retirement in Jamaica. However, his peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) from the CIA asks for help in rescuing a kidnapped scientist. The mission turns out to be far more treacherous than expected and leads Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain (Rami Malek) armed with dangerous new technology.

Fukunaga’s keen eye is well-documented in his unflinching 2015 film “Beasts of No Nation,” in which he was also cinematographer, and his masterful first season of the dark, hypnotic “True Detective” in 2014, for which he won an Emmy Award for directing.

He excels at moving this intriguing spy story along and the globe-trotting camerawork by Linus Sandgren, Oscar winner for “La La Land,” is dazzling. Even at 2 hours and 43 minutes, this slick yet gritty adventure keeps our attention, and satisfyingly wraps up Craig’s story arc as the British icon.

While most other Bond films can stand on their own, some 25 and counting over six decades, the five in the Daniel Craig era are connected. “No Time to Die” relies on viewers knowing that Vesper Lind was Bond’s first wife in the 2006 “Casino Royale” reboot and that tragic backstory, as well as familiarity with what happened in the last one, “Spectre” in 2015 – especially about his girlfriend Dr. Madeleine Swann, daughter of nemesis Mr. White, and sinister mastermind Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), Swann’s dad’s boss.

The script by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, as well as Fukunaga, is noticeably impacted by the contributions of screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge (heralded creator of “Fleabag”), who brings a refreshing female perspective to the well-documented male patriarchy of the Bond franchise.

This entry is far more female-forward than previous Bond installments – and there is a new 007, Nomi, and she is a feisty, ferocious machine, with Lashana Lynch in a dandy performance, the first black British agent in the film’s 58-year history. No, he may be legendary, but they did not retire Bond’s number, 007.

The iconic ID has been around since Ian Fleming’s first novel, “Casino Royale,” in 1953, and he went on to write 11 novels and two short story collections. Other authors have carried on Bond’s missions.

What direction the Bond franchise goes after Craig’s swan song is anyone’s guess – but post-credits, producers are emphatic: Bond will return in 2022. Debate rages over the possibility of Idris Elba or Rege-Jean Page, or even a female agent. Hmmm…anticipation grows.

In the meantime, Craig fans will enjoy his final emotionally charged performance. He’s been a fine Bond, one of the best, displaying an intensity about dedication to duty, a wily intelligence and a tiny chink in his reserved demeanor about feelings, which is endearing. His orphan roots and lovers’ betrayals have exposed his internal wounds.

While he might not be as memorable as some previous villains, Rami Malek is an interesting adversary as mad genius Lyutsifer Safin, warped by his father’s zeal for using chemicals as weapons.

As the other Bond villain, Blofeld, Christoph Waltz is far better here in one confrontation than he was in the entire “Spectre,” which was a disappointing film after the extraordinary “Skyfall” in 2012.

Not everyone is sold about French actress Lea Seydoux playing the love interest, a rare second appearance for a girlfriend, but it deepened the Craig finale.

This foray features a solid cast, with the always-exceptional Ralph Fiennes returning as a conflicted M, Ben Whishaw as tech whiz Q, Naomie Harris as loyal assistant Eve Moneypenny, Rory Kinnear as government wonk Tanner and this time around, Jeffrey Wright compelling as CIA pal Felix.

Besides a take-notice turn by Lynch, Ana de Armas is sensational as a rookie CIA operative helping Bond in Cuba. She is not given as much screen time as she deserved, and her captivating sequence had viewers wanting more, ushering in a new type of “Bond girl” in a changing era.

Bond may be a relic from a distant past, but the fact that filmmakers acknowledge that change is necessary, makes for a fascinating future.

The franchise, known for stylish escapism, may be forced to adapt to keep relevant in a brave new world, but viewers will always want engaging stories of right triumphing over might – no matter if it’s good girls AND guys.

And wow, are those car chases fun to watch.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in “No Time to Die”

No Time to Die” is an action-adventure directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and stars Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomi Harris, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Jeffrey Wright, BIlly Magnussen and Ana de Armas. It is Rated: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, brief strong language, and some suggestive material. Its run time is 2 hours, 43 minutes. It is in theaters on Oct. 8. Lynn’s Grade: A