Movie Review: Never Back Down

Never Back DownNever Back Down is a good fighting / action movie.  The story involves a former football player from Iowa moving to the sunny beaches of Orlando where he discovers organized fighting.  The fighting is in the form of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), with its combination of boxing, kick-boxing, wrestling, and street fighting.  He ends up being lured into competing at Beatdown, an underground fight tournament.

If you are a fan of fighting movies, you will like this movie.  If you are a fan of MMA, go watch Forrest Griffin fight Quinton ‘Rampage‘ Jackson in the UFC instead.  As with most Hollywood movies, the fighting is choreographed for as much action as possible for the standard audience member.  This basically means very little blocking, a lack of proper technique, and all offense.

One thing that annoyed me was the prevalence of video / camera phones.  Anytime there was action, everybody was taking pictures or recording video on their phones.  The next day at school, everyone would be watching the videos on their phones or on Youtube.  This idea must have come from a 50 year old office executive who thought it would make the movie hip.  It did not.

After watching the movie, I get this feeling of familiarity.  This movie reminded me of Karate Kid for some reason.  Kid moves to a new place, gets bullied around.  Kid finds martial arts instructor to train him.  Kid faces bully in a fighting tournament at the end of the movie, fights through the underdog status to win.  Yeah, this is beginning to sound like quite a few movies out there, but it is still a good movie.

Score: B+

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