What Is The 'Four Pass Method’? Conor McGregor Just Revealed How Road House Made Him Beating Up On Jake Gyllenhaal Look So Real

 Road House 2024.
Road House 2024.

Amazon’s Road House remake may have shown Jake Gyllenhaal slapping dudes and kicking ass as a bouncer, but his mighty opponent in the film, Conor McGregor, threw some very realistic blows as his character Knox. Their fight scenes together were such a highlight of the movie that you’d think what you watched was real. Well, there’s a reason for the realistic fighting sequences, as the Irish mixed martial artist explained the “four pass method” to make beating up his co-star look so natural.

One of the little things that made the Road House remake so entertaining was the way the fight sequences were filmed. The cameras panning around the brawlers with these long-cut takes were like something you’d see in a video game. But, of course, the fight scenes that featured Jake Gyllenhaal’s Dalton and Conor McGregor’s Knox were easy to get your eyes glued to because of how intense and real they looked. So what’s the secret to that? The former UFC champ opened up to Jake Hamilton about a little film sequence technique called the “four pass method.”

He [our stunt coordinator] came up with a method. I think it's called the four pass method and it's basically, you know you punch one side of the face, you punch the other side, you punch in slow motion, where you land and act it, and then you put a pad in front of the face. There's some method that they use where they blend all four of these movements together and it's exactly like a fucking smack. That head butt was like I really headbutted him. I've never seen it before. I've never seen that before in a movie. So I'm very happy to be one of the ones to get going with that.

It's hard to believe these quick choreographed movements blended together to create an unbelievable arrangement. You can tell by Conor McGregor’s enthusiasm that he had a lot of fun filming this action film. He stole every scene he was in from his psychotic enforcer character Knox’s naked introduction to the final blowout between him and Dalton.

McGregor played the villainous role shamelessly with no limits to what he could do. That said, the Irish champ’s fighter instincts kept kicking in with constant reminders not to actually punch Jake Gyllenhaal in the face. It's almost like you forget you’re not in the ring, but hey, it proves you can’t always take the fighter out of a fighter.

This “four pass method” was almost featured in another big-budget flick. According to Total Film, stunt coordinator Garrett Warren was about to use this realistic fighting technique in James Cameron’s Avatar, but because the sci-fi blockbuster was filmed in a CGI landscape, it was decided that the technique wasn’t needed. So when Road House’s director Doug Liman told Warren, “I want to do something that’s never been done before,” in came the introduction of the “four pass method.”

Even though the “four pass method” helped to make the fight sequences look natural, it didn’t mean all of the grueling action in Road House wasn’t without a few mishaps. Like Conor McGregor previously mentioned, he really did “clock” Jake Gyllenhaal at one point for not judging the distance of his blow.

It looks like that’s the downside to doing choreographed scenes with real fighters is having to train them not to actually hit their scene partner for a movie. Plus, the Nightcrawler actor developed a staph infection after doing sequences in glass and on dirty floors. Oh, the things actors are willing to put themselves through for their craft.

Now we know that Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor’s head-to-head combat scenes looked so realistic thanks to the “four pass method” technique. Maybe Road House won’t be the only action flick making great use of this method in future films. You can watch many more kickass scenes in the action remake available with your Amazon Prime subscription.