Amazon Holiday

Monday, March 17, 2008

Never Back Down

(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: With help from a wise mentor (Djimon Hounsou), a teenager (Sean Faris) turns to the world of underground mixed martial arts fighting to overcome anger and frustrations over a tragic event in his past that he feels responsible for.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Sean Faris, Djimon Hounsou, Amber Heard, Cam Gigandet, Evan Peters, Wyatt Smith, Leslie Hope

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. In this homo-erotically charged mash up of a modern day Karate Kid crossed with an iphone commercial, you’ll get exactly what the ads promise. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the fight sequences are pretty exciting, but it’s all been done and seen before. And been done way better.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: You’ll think it should have made you laugh way more, except when you’re laughing at the unintentional humor. Which you’ll enjoy doing more than once.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you’ve ever had a cracked rib, this movie might bring back those painful memories, and in so doing, make you cry.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: I’m sure there’s an MTV Movie Award nomination in its future for Best Fight. And I’ll go out on a limb and say maybe even for Best Kiss (even though it’s just the plain old heterosexual kind).

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Better than expected. Hounsou is magnetic no matter the material and he’s a large presence in this despite playing a supporting role. And even though some of the “teen” leads are surely teetering on the edge of 30 in real life, they’re all quite good. Suspension of belief will be needed, but at least you won’t be cringing over line readings.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Pretty darn good. The mixed martial arts fighting style really pops and is extremely well choreographed and shot. It’s probably the only reason anyone is seeing this movie, and it won’t disappoint in that regard. Okay, so some people are also going so they can see Sean Faris and Cam Gigandet with their shirts off… and let’s just say that if the director was responsible for that, too, then even more kudos.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Pretty formulaic. At least it pays lip-service to some character development and back story, which elevates it slightly from a straight ahead beat-a-thon. And it also deserves credit for putting forth a strong message about accepting personal responsibility and coming to terms with the bad choices we all make in life.

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