Never Back Down Review


The Ultimate Fighting Championship meets Karate Kid. Seeing the trailer for the first time I thought it was another Fast and the Furious movie, but with nothing else on at the moment decided it was worth a viewing in comparison to the other let downs. I am an avid UFC fan and have been for years so when something like this pops up at the cinema I’ll be extremely picky about it.

Never Back Down

Never Back Down is set in the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The movie revolves around Jake Tyler played by Sean Faris. Jake is a touch american football playing kid who wears his heart on his sleeve. He is not adverse to using his fists to get him in to and out of nasty situations on the pitch. When his little brother is picked out to have a scholarship in Orlando the family had to move.

Orlando is a different world all together. The school where Jake ends up is in a craze of Ultimate Fighting and set up illegal un-justified brawls where the school kids think it’s great. Thanks to Jakes last football game, the new kids think he is an awesome contender to be the best fighter in the school and the current champ Ryan McCarthy played by Cam Gigandet doesn’t like it.

Jake attempts to fit in, and thanks to a flirty classmate called Baja played by Amber Heard ends up at a McCarthy’s party. Jake is offered a fight with McCarthy but turns it down. McCarthy then touches a nerve with Jake to get him to fight and the brawl ensues with Jake ending up flat out on the floor unconscious.

Emotionally trodden on, Jake is told of an MMA trainer near his home called Jean Roqua played by Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond) who can teach him Mixed Martial Arts.


Never Back Down is definitely a mix between Fast and the Furious and Karate Kid with the MMA add-on. The fighting is pretty good, they don’t fight in an octagon but the skills are pretty defined. They have obviously tried to make it a lot better with all the flashing lights and music but the movie went well together and Sean Faris played a brilliant part in the movie. He reminded me of a young Tom Cruise, like a new age Far and Away.

Djimon Hounsou had obviously gone through a lot of training and it was just like watching a UFC training session. Hounsou is turning out to be a very inspiring actor, leading a very junior cast who most of them I had never seen before.

I would recommend to go and see it, even if for most people it may be to just pass some time.

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Head of Interaction and Service Design at DigitalDWP.