Man it has been quite a minute since I’ve written a movie review, so forgive me if I’m a little rusty. I generally hibernate during the dark, dreary, winter months. Like a beautiful rose, or Cherry Blossom – if you are in DC. I start to bloom in the Spring. Last week was o.ur first decent week in about 3 months so I thought I’d celebrate by checking out a screening of Never Back Down. I shake my head ruefully that this is my first screening of 2008. And you know what, it wasn’t half bad. Not a great movie, but for what it is it works. When I think of tough ass fighters the first thing I think is Disney World. You can take so much of that place before you want to go and beat the hell out of someone. I generally reach that breaking point 2 days into my vacation to the happiest place on earth. I couldn’t image actually living there.
But don’t feel too sorry for these spoiled, rich kids. They are all hopped up on steroids and getting their jollies by beating the crap out of each other in organized fight clubs. The big dog of the bunch Ryan McCarthy (played by Cam Gigandet – best known for kiling Marissa on The O.C.) feels himself being challenged by the poor kid newcomer Jake Tyler (played by Sean Faris). From the minute he steps into his new school, Ryan wants to fight him. It seems like Jake built himself quite a YouTube reputation for fighting on the football. Ryan has his galpal Baja Miller (Amber Heard) set Jake up to get beat up at party. Don’t worry I’m not giving away the movie, all of this happens in the first 15 – 20 minutes.
What can you say about a film like this? Do I talk about the acting? No. The Script? No. The Ridiculousness of everything? That’d be too easy. How about how cool Epcot Center looked? Nah. The fight sequences had their moments, it’s clear they were trying to go for a whole UFC vibe and not a “Fight Club,” one. Everything seemed a little too clean and sanitized. Yes there was blood, but not as much as you would think. If you are a fan of UFC this watered down version may tick you off, but I don’t know, I kind of liked it. It does get points for being a different kind of Teeny Bopper film. This isn’t a $12 movie, but if you can catch a matinee or HBO it’ll be worth your time.
Final Grade C
EM Review by
Originally Posted 3/17/08