It seems like there are
quite a few movies coming out of Hollywood at the moment that are based
on fighting. From Christian Bale in the excellent movie The Fighter
to Channing Tatum's Fighting, not to mention Will Smith's
remake of the Karate Kid. It seems that "fights" are once again back in
style and as we all know, the 80's and early 90's were filled with these
This is where Never Back
Down comes into the mix that is like a mature version of the Karate King
meets No Retreat No Surrender and is directed by Jeff Wadlow (Cry Wolf)
which uses the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) as the inspiration behind the
story, not to
mention the movie Fight Club.
The protagonist of the story is Jake (Sean Faris) who moves from Utah to Florida with his family and commences at a
new high school. However we soon learn that Jake has quite the temper
and he has become somewhat of an internet sensation as he was filmed
having a fight at a local football game in his home town in Utah.
Needless to say, Jake is somewhat
famous in his new high school due to the viral video and quickly befriends Max
(Evan Peters) who has gotten his ass handed to him at a local school
fight club. This is where Jake also meets the attractive Baja Miller (Amber
Heard) who flirts with him and invites him to a party that is held by
her boyfriend Ryan (Cam Gigandet), the leader of this underground fight
club who in essence has lured Jake here so he could fight him.
Predictably Jack loses the
fight with Ryan and the prestige of his classmates but with the
assistance of his friend Max, they sign up at a local gym and come under the
Jean Roque (Djimon Hounsou), a mixed martial arts instructor. From here Jake learns some control over his fighting and without spoiling
the movie any further, it's quite obvious how the film will pan out, not
that this is a bad thing.
There's some noticeable acting by Sean Faris
as Jake, the tempersome hero plus Evan Peters as
his sidekick but unfortunately the gorgeous Amber Heard is only there
for a pretty face as opposed to her excellent role in the movie And
soon the darkness. Hounsou once again plays the older sage and
although he has generally be stereotyped in most movies, he fits this
role perfect in Never Back Down.
Video, Audio & Special Features
The Blu-ray quality looks great on a 1080p TV with AVC MPEG-4 coding
that boasts sharp images, vibrant colours and deep blacks. There is some
grain and noise but overall, it a relatively impressive Blu-ray when it
comes to video. Audio supports a DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack that maximises
your surround sound and boasts some exceptional clear audio and decent
sound effects plus the pumping soundtrack.
When it comes to extras, this
release features audio commentary with Director Jeff Wadlow, writer
Chris Hauty and actor Sean Faris plus an interesting feature on how to
fight like a champ with Bas Rutten. For a relatively unknown movie,
there's plenty of content to watch after the movie and thankfully most
of it is not just an add for the main movie.
Never Back Down may not be the best movie of the year but if you enjoy fight movies,
Never Back Down delivers in this area but unfortunately suffers from a
clichéd script and a little over acting. Even so, the beautiful Amber Heard more than makes up for any poor
dialogue and tacky plot holes!