Never Back Down (2008)

“I’m gonna stop this guy, win, lose… it makes no difference, it ends tonight. This is my fight. Everyone’s got one…”

— Jake Tyler

I was not expecting Never Back Down to be an Oscar contender or anything when it was released in March of ’08. I was a guilty pleasure through and through.

The movie is a cross between The Karate Kid, Step Up 2: The Streets and Fight Club, but the kid is follow Houstonian Sean Faris as Jake Tyler. Jake is a rebellious teenager that has a short fuse. He is reeling from the death of his father when his family has to move from their home in Ohio to Orlando.

Being the new boy in school, Jake is befriended by Max Cooperman (Evan Peters) and a possible love interest, Baja Miller (Amber Heard). Baja invites Jake to a party when he tangled up in an underground ultimate fighting syndicate where he is challenged and defeated by Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet).

After the loss, Max wants Jake to take mixed martial arts classes by his instructor, Jean Roqua (Djimon Hounsou) to beat Ryan at the end.

I have to admit that Sean’s “Cindy Crawford mole” distracted me from this movie. It was so weird when he tried to have the “emotional revelation” scenes that I kept staring at his mole.

The movie is predictable as all get out. There is an ample amount of barechestedness with Sean –who gained fifteen pounds of muscle for the role, Cam and Djimon. There is the obligatory lesbian make out scene to get the hetero males all hot and bothered. Whatever.

The climatic fight between Jake and Ryan was not good. People getting punched and kicked in the face. No cuts or bruises. What? People getting power bombed on the concrete. Hello, broken back. They are super teenagers.

I wanted to pose this question to you. If you see Cam Gigandet on the street, don’t you want to punch him in the throat? I don’t know what it is. I just want to do that. He will be typecast as the villain with an awful hairdo in Twilight, the guy candy in The Unborn or the complete douche bag in this movie. So sad. Not really.

There is another film that is similar to this movie coming out in April called Fighting with Channing Tatum and Terrance Howard. Can Hollywood stop recycling the same tired plot with different people?

My rating: ***

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on January 19, 2009, in 2008, Action, Drama, Sports and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It’s terribly predictable, and laughable, but at the same time, its entertaining, and keeps you watching with excitement. Check out my review when you can!

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