Never Back Down

2008-06-27 10:18
What it's about:

When Jake Tyler (Sean Faris) transfers to a new school to support his brother's potential tennis career, he's considered an outsider with a quick temper. He's invited to a party by the school hottie Baja (Amber Heard) and goes in an attempt to fit in, but is unknowingly pulled into a fight with bully Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet). Fighting has become the school's number one "extra curricular activity", and Jake needs remedial. Battered, bruised and humiliated, Jake signs up with trainer Jean Roqua (Djimon Hounsou) at a mixed martial arts gym to exact his revenge at an underground fighting contest. But along the way Jake must learn the discipline and patience to fight the right fight.

What we thought of it:

It doesn't say much about society when a movie is made about American teens who turn to backyard brawls as a form of entertainment. It says even less when the message promoted by said movie is "Everyone has a fight; you just need to find yours." But is the main message behind Never Back Down really that it's ok to beat someone to a pulp as long as you're doing it to stop them from fighting again?

Unfortunately the teen audience will never pick up on this, because the aggressive subliminal messages are hidden behind pretty faces, fredgy cinematography, sexy editing and a kick-ass soundtrack (excuse the pun).

Sure it won the MTV Movie Award for "Best Fight", but that's where the film's appeal begins and ends. Actors Sean Faris and Cam Gigandet might be pretty to look at in boardshorts with their twelve-packs and Amber Heard is hot in her white bikini, but there's no real emotion from these silicone young Hollywooders. Almost-Oscar-winner Djimon Hounsou does his best to inject genuine emotion into a forgettable narrative, but it seems his character serves as the movie's cliché punching bag.

As an underdog story, Never Back Down could've been the Karate Kid (1984) of its generation had it not been so superficial. Ultimately, if you want to enjoy Never Back Down, try not to read too much into it and just get taken along on the roundhouse ride.

- Megan Kakora

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Not quite The Karate Kid, but it'll no doubt rank high amongst almost-20-somethings.

Kim 2008/07/09 3:38 PM
KickboxerGirl 2008/10/01 10:18 AM
Great stuff!! Kickboxing are fastly becomming the greatest and most favourate sport in the world. Great movie to inspire every one!!! Visit to find a venue near you.
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