Good Bad Flicks: Never Back Down

Never Back Down

Exploring the fight movie Never Back Down.

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While I do enjoy a good fight scene, this seems very..."dudebro" for lack of a better term. So is this the kind of movie you watch just for the action, while trying to ignore the actual plot and message as best as one can? Or are there actually a few emotionally rewarding scenes as well?

Fat_Hippo:
While I do enjoy a good fight scene, this seems very..."dudebro" for lack of a better term. So is this the kind of movie you watch just for the action, while trying to ignore the actual plot and message as best as one can? Or are there actually a few emotionally rewarding scenes as well?

I was of the same thoughts, especially after the talk about the respectful, you put my friend in the hospital but I beat the shit out of you, nod.
If this had been 1 part Fight Club and 1 part The Raid 2, I'd probably be trying to find it right now, but a Fight Club/Karate Kid type movie...yeah, no.

"...And no fighting outside of the gym. So, how did you hear about my MMA school?"

"Oh, I ran into your student Max when he was fighting--- oooh, awkward."

Does anybody else think the main character looks helluva lot like MatPat from Game Theory? I kept wondering where I've seen that guy before.

This thing cost 20 million dollars to make? Where did it all go? This looks like a glorified made for tv movie.

Fat_Hippo:
While I do enjoy a good fight scene, this seems very..."dudebro" for lack of a better term. So is this the kind of movie you watch just for the action, while trying to ignore the actual plot and message as best as one can? Or are there actually a few emotionally rewarding scenes as well?

Remember how a lot of American martial arts movies in the 80's were all about "old-school fisticuffs don't hold a candle to Karate!"? This movie is basically that, except now it's "traditional martial arts don't stand a chance against MMA!".

Basically, it's "The Karate Kid" for the MMA generation.

That being said, it's not terrible, and they actually explain some of the stuff the reviewer was making fun of in the movie (for example, the reason they have this insane party in the beginning is because it's being held at Ryan's house, and his dad is this ultra-rich party animal who basically treats his son like he's his buddy). They also note the fact that they live in an insanely rich area (and Jake is basically the poor kid). The fight scenes are decent, though they won't replace "The Raid" anytime soon. It does have one very well done emotional scene where the trainer explains why he is so against people fighting outside the gym, and the scene where Jake's mother goes to talk to him is genuine too.

Some stuff was odd. Why the hell was Amber Heard named "Baja"? And it does the same thing that many fighting movies do, where cuts and bruises seem to magically heal in about 24 hours. The 'respectful nod' part at the end was just bizarre too.

So there's an exploitation version of this and you still choose this one to cover? Man, ain't that a mistake.

Yeah I don't know about this movie, I don't think I want to sit through untold scenes of dudebro-ing and Hollywood-high school bullshit for some cool fight scenes. I suppose it is good to see a Western fight movie that doesn't have hypercutting in its fight scenes though. That's why I usually stick to Asian ones.

Cowabungaa:
So there's an exploitation version of this and you still choose this one to cover? Man, ain't that a mistake.

Yeah I don't know about this movie, I don't think I want to sit through untold scenes of dudebro-ing and Hollywood-high school bullshit for some cool fight scenes. I suppose it is good to see a Western fight movie that doesn't have hypercutting in its fight scenes though. That's why I usually stick to Asian ones.

Well, I never said I wasn't going to cover the exploitation version of this in the future. (actually, its more exploitation of underground fight clubs in general, with high school girls being kidnapped and forced to fight to the death)

While there is some dude-broing in this, I thought it was rather entertaining. Djimon got to showcase some of his skills (both acting and fighting) and overall, it made for a nice pseudo-update to the Karate Kid. The bad guy is extremely loathsome. They try to show how his father was the source of all his anger but I felt no pity. He deserved to be taken down a few pegs.

A lot of Asian fight movies (various kung fu flicks and such) have some of the best battles. The old ones were amazing because there was no effects, it was pure talent. The new ones are a mix of skill and occasionally some wire-fu. (The big thing is that with wire fu movies like Shaolin Soccer, there is a major difference in the skill over many US movies that are wire-fu based)

I'm sure you've probably seen The Protector, but I'm throwing this out there anyway because more folks need to check it out. Some of the most incredible fight choreography I've seen and I've seen a lot.

Personally thought Redbelt that came out the same year was an overall better martial arts film, and only had a $7million budget compared to NBD's $20million. Written and directed by David Mamet (though not that great of a director), with Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 years a slave) as the lead. Sadly suffered from little to no advertising and was a financial flop.

Oh, never back down. I somehow liked this movie, when i usually hate this kind of thing. Perhaps a brilliant soundtrack was what made me like it. an no i dont mean kanye.

 

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