×

BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003797Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Never Back Down (2-Disc)
DVD disk
08.04.2008 By: Mathew Plale
Never Back Down (2-Disc) order
Director:
Jeff Wadlow

Actors:
Sean Faris
Cam Gigandet
Djimon Hounsou

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Oh, you know, the new kid at school (Faris) is pushed around for a few weeks and then accepts a challenge from the bully (Gigandet) to get the girl (Heard).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Normally I’d jump at the chance to be a spectator at a nose-breaking brawl between over-privileged white boys with daddy issues. But it’s just no fun when it’s all a movie.

Jake (Sean Faris, sporting the mid-‘80s Tom Cruise look) is the new kid in town, which (in Movie Land, at least) means two things: 1) he’ll befriend a hyper wannabe (Evan Peters) and 2) the resident bully (Ryan, played by Cam Gigandet from The O.C.) will, for some reason or another, teach the newbie a lesson. What sort of lesson? That he’s the reigning champ of mixed martial arts in Orlando (an apparent hot-spot for underground, teenager-run fight clubs) and that misunderstood blonde Baja (Amber Heard) is his. So Jake (a YouTube phenomena thanks to his sharp right hook) and Ryan “thrown down” in front of classmates, leaving our hunky hero a bloody mess.

Enter Jean Roqua (Dimon Hounsou), a tall, sweaty, dark take on Mr. Miyagi. Enter the montages set to a loud soundtrack and Friday Night Lights-esque zooms and jerks. Enter the oh-so-inspirational one-liners (my personal favorite: “Walking away and giving up aren’t the same thing.”).

This will all somehow lead to the great big revenge match at Beatdown, an elimination tournament held in some out-of-the-way warehouse and attended, again, by Jake and Ryan’s classmates, who snap their camera phones and shout their favorite submissions. Guess who wins.

With the rise of mixed martial arts in the past year or so, there was bound to be a major motion picture sometime before 2008 ended. But director Jeff Wadlow’s Never Back Down isn’t for the triangle choke enthusiasts. This is formulaic and cliché-ridden garbage at its most predictable, cut out for the MTV devotees--the teens that gush and melt over two hard-bodied egotists snarling at each other, as long as there’s a pretty girl in the middle.
THE EXTRAS
Disc One:

Audio Commentary by Director Jeff Wadlow, Actor Sean Faris, and Writer Chris Hauty: How can the three key players to the movie be so boring? There’s good chemistry, but you can’t possibly make it through the whole commentary.

Deleted Scenes (13:37): Director Wadlow introduces each scene (11 here), explaining the reasons for their exclusion.

The Promo Reel (1:36) was shot over a weekend to give viewers a preview of Never Back Down.

Also included is the Original Theatrical Version, which runs about fifteen seconds shorter than the “Extended Beat Down Edition.”

Disc Two:

Mix It Up: Bringing MMA to the Big Screen (10:14): Cast, crew, and fight choreographers chat mixed martial arts. Training footage with the stars backbones the featurette.

Blow By Blow: Breaking Down the Fights (1:04:54): Director Wadlow, DP Lukas Ettlin, and stunt/fight coordinator Damon Caro dissect each fight scene from the movie, pointing out how each was filmed. In-depth and a must-watch for fans.

Star Power: Djimon in Training (2:22): MMA fighter/trainer Erik Paulson briefly goes through the moves and techniques he taught co-star Djimon Hounsou.

The Thrill of the Fight: Choreographing MMA (1:11) is an extremely short and useless piece with Damon Caro, whose credits include Fight Club and 300.

Training the Cast (2:07): This piece—along with the previous two— could have been included in the “Mix It Up” featurette
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I don't know whose idea it was to greenlight Never Back Down, but it doesn't matter right now. I'll let them go if they give me the phone number to whoever suggested the Two-Disc Special Edition.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| March 2017 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Fantastic Beasts
  • 2
    Sing
  • 3
    Moana
  • 4
    Doctor Strange
  • 5
    Fifty Shades Darker

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting