The original "Roadhouse" ranked as an invigorating, hard-knuckled, bruiser of a B-picture that benefited tremendously from good performances by Patrick Swayze, Ben Gazzara, and Sam Elliot, along with several tough-as-nails fights, and red-hot babe chicks with bosomy charms. Of course, the in-name sequel only "Roadhouse 2: Last Call" emerges as just another cash-in quickly follow-up film that has little to do with the original, but it isn't as tame or lame as the usual straight-to-video sequel. In other words, "Roadhouse 2" ain't half-bad, even if it is strictly formula without anything substantial to set it apart from the hundreds of other knuckle-busting, testosterone thrillers.
Nate Tanner (Will Patton of "The Rapture")owns a popular nightclub in the sticks called the Black Pelican, and he has a hard time with the local narcotics smuggler, Will Bill (Jake Busey of "Starship Troopers"), who wants the Pelican owing to its'"location, location, location" promixity to his drug smuggling operation. When Nate refuses to sell out, Will Bill sends his muscle men out to change his mind. They don't succeed it changing Nate's mind. However, they beat him up sufficiently to put him in the hospital. Naturally, the local constabulary complains that they are too undermanned to handle the investigation. Actually, they're on the villain's payroll. Meanwhile, troubleshooting DEA agent Shane Tanner (Johnathon Schaech of "Hush" and "The Doom Generation") is having his own problems. He cannot make the big bust that his superiors expect him to make. When he learns that his uncle is in the hospital, Shane takes time off to visit him down in Louisiana. On the way to his uncle's bar, he happens upon a hopelessly pretty blonde, Beau (newcomer Ellen Hollman) changing a flat tire on her jeep and gives her a hand. Later, we discover that not only is Beau an elementary school teacher, but she also can kick, punch, stab, and shoot with the best of them. According to Beau, she acquired these implausible skills during her stay in the Army that helped her afford her college education. When he arrives at the Black Pelican, Shane discovers that the local drug dealers are selling product on his premises, and he gives them the boot. Reprisals are swift and sure, but Shane handles them without difficulty. He calls in help from his DEA buddies and sets up a meeting with Wild Bill and nearly busts Bill after a bullet-blasting gun battle at his bar. Jurisdictional boundaries are infringed upon by the government guys, and so the DEA have to back and let the local authorities handle the situation. Meantime, Nate recovers from his wounds while Beau and Shane take a shine to each other. In the background, Wild Bill's boss Victor Cross (Australian kickboxing sensation Richard Norton) steps in to see if he can't resolve of Wild Bill's predicament with Shane. It seems that Shane and Victor had a little run-in when Shane was a rookie Louisiana State Trooper. Evidently, our hero busted Victor for pot and coke. Since then Victor has migrated to Miami and has the world by the tail as a big-time drug smuggler. As it turns out, we learn late in the fourth quarter that Victor smoked Shane's father by accident because dad was driving Shane's car. Precisely speaking, Victor ordered nasty old Will Bill to pull the trigger. This comes out during a confessional moment between the two adversaries.
"Roadhouse 2: Last Call" isn't a classic, but it does pack a solid punch or two. In other words, it stacks up better than the usual direct-to-video nonsense. Of course, it shouldn't have been made in the first place, but it's not a complete waste of time. Director Scott Ziehl keeps things popping throughout this 86 minute potboiler and he never wears out his welcome. Indestructible Will Patton appears to be playing the sort-of-Sam Elliot role. The fights are better-than-average, too, and the women are easy on the eye.