NEVER BACK DOWN
Release Date: 2/29/08
What’s the Story: I’m sure the pitch line was “Karate Kid meets Fight Club.” (In going to the website, that’s exactly how it’s described.) Troubled teen (Sean Faris) moves to Florida with family (mom is Leslie Hope from “24” with a bad blonde dye-job), sans dad who died after drinking and driving. Comes across underground fighting scene, gets beat down, and meets his sensei (Djimon Hounsou), girlfriend, and sidekick who all give him conflicted motivations.
I think I’ll just grab some photos, and give you the eye candy. That’s what I enjoyed about the movie the most.
Sorry I couldn’t find any screen shots from the movie of Djimon other than his face, so here’s his CK ad, enjoy.
I was entertained, for the most part. It has zero depth like Karate Kid, but it’s about as entertaining. The fight sequences were well done, and appropriately bloody. Someone got to play with some special effects in the final showdown (look for x-ray flashes on the bare chests), but otherwise they’re realistic as far as action movies go.
It is good for getting your wound down if you’re feeling punchy. I wouldn’t put it quite up there with singing along with Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral for letting out my aggression, but I did feel remarkably calm after the movie.
It’ll hold up about as well as Karate Kid, so you probably won’t be watching this one in twenty years either.
What it’s worth: $2.50. Catch it when it airs on cable, or rent it from a Redbox. I probably wouldn’t have seen it if I had to pay for it (I think of it playing to the same market as Step-Up 2: The Streets, which is already in theaters). I can see spending a lazy afternoon cleaning the house with this popping in and out from between commercials.