Patrick Swayze plays Dalton, a bouncer tasked with taming a rowdy Missouri bar. The job soon escalates into Dalton freeing the town from the grip of a local gangster played by Ben Gazzara. Sam Elliott plays Dalton’s friend and mentor.
I suspect this may have originated as a vehicle for Steven Seagal. Lines like, “Expect the unexpected,” “Nobody wins a fight,” and “Pain don’t hurt” seem tailor-made for the mystical stoic persona he cultivated early in his career. And who else could pull off ripping out a foe’s throat? Okay, maybe Van-Damme. Regardless, I don’t think they wrote this with Swayze in mind.
But thanks to a few script touches, Swayze works. The running gag where everyone thinks he’d be bigger helps, as does casting Sam Elliott, who brings just enough gravitas to keep things from sliding into total parody when we see a monster truck destroy a car dealership.