Great example of an old-fashioned, pure-at-heart escapist event movie that doesn't pretend to be anything that it's not and has boat loads of fun being its own ludicrous self.
The film's masterful storytelling did its job. The message was clear. No need to overdo.
This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. You have to go and see this on the big screen.
Music was on point! Movie really shows to never give up
I don't know about the critics but I love this film. the quality of action, and filmography is really great. I also loved the way its story progresses and gradually develop each character. also the dialogs between Jake and his coach is thoughtful. the interesting part of this film is that each moment is enjoyable, not for a single moment I felt that it is going slow. I loved the screenplay and the message that everyone has their own fight, you must carry on the struggle. the final action scene is really awesome and it gives us the message about having peace in the mind. The ultimate message that the film provides us is we can't hide from our problems we need to face those and fight. Finally the ending scene left me with an awe. I love this film. I am really surprised to see this that the film got poor feedback from critics who can praise films like "hunger games" so heart-fully
Paul Magne Haakonsen
I watched part two first, as I didn't have part one at the time, but I managed to stumble across it in the second hand DVD store where I get my movie fix. And now having seen part one, I must say that I am not amused. Part one and two were essentially one and the same movie; an underdog trains for a bit more than a month and progresses to win martial arts competitions against those who have trained their whole lives. Yeah, very plausible.A young college kid named Jake moves to a new location after he was thrown off of the football team for fighting. Here he meets a beautiful girl who turns out to be the girlfriend of the local beatdown champion (what are the odds?). And this spurs an inevitable fight. But with no chance of winning, Jake seeks training at a local gym.The entire movie was one big cliché, and it was so predictable that you have the entire story figured out from the very start.If you have seen part one, then you have essentially also already seen part two, and vice versa. At least there is hope for improvement in the upcoming third movie, as they got Thai action stars Tony Jaa and JeeJa Yanin on the cast list."Never Back Down" is not the brightest moment in the cinema history, but it is entertaining enough for what it is; a mediocre and predictable action movie.
Let's all be honest with each other this is a re-hash of The Karate Kid; OK let's look at it; troubled kid moves from Iowa to Florida, tries to stop a fight and then falls predator to local tough guy Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet). McCarthy beats up the protagonist Jake Tyler (Sean Faris - who has a spooky resemblance to a young Tom Cruise) and thus setting up the plot. Tyler wants to get the better of McCarthy although initially it is merely because he envies his lifestyle and his girlfriend Baja Miller (the unbelievably hot Amber Heard), but as the film progresses, Tyler finds that he not only has to take on McCarthy, but he must also fight his inner demons as well.Anyone who has watched this film and who has seen the Karate Kid will undoubtedly see the similarities; the weedy out of town kid, the necessity to fight for the women that they love (Shue in the Karate Kid and Heard in this film), at this juncture it doesn't particularly make it bad but it's hardly original and it kind of made me think that we've got a 'been there done that' kind of scenario. The romance angle between Tyler and Miller is exactly the same as in The Karate Kid (both protagonists get their asses kicked and then train to overcome their enemies with Mr Miyagi being the trainer in the first film and Jean Roqua in this film (played by the excellent Djimon Hounsou). The whole soppy romance between Miller and Tyler was completely predictable as was the way the film ended- although the way it fooled the audience into believing that McCarthy and Tyler would fight in the ring was moderately surprising it did cheapen the effect somewhat by giving it a Rocky V feel.Where this film succeeds slightly is in the subtext and character development that it offers; we learn that Jake Tyler's father died when he drove back drunk when Jake was in the passenger seat. Jake knew that he could have prevented it and yet in his own words 'did nothing about it'. I think that this explains nearly every scene in this film - the initial involvement in the fight, his tenacity and desire never to give up. I think he was partly doing it to prove himself to his dad, but more importantly to prove to himself that he wasn't gutless which he ultimately shows in the end. This film had some great subtext if you're prepared to look for it, it's just a shame that it's something that we've seen time and time again.One major problem that this film suffers from is that it has a real 'MTV' feel about it. I understand that a 'score' or 'music' can be used to evoke emotion, but in this film it felt like it was just there for no other reason other than to pander for the MTV generation. It was over used, not emotive, not moving.The film's climax is predictable and is something that anyone with an IQ in double figures could have figured out after 5 minutes. The acting was generally OK by everyone (except Cam Gigandet's portrayal of Ryan McCarthy - my god he was awful). Djimon Hounsou gave probably the best performance.Overall, this wasn't a complete waste of time, but it's hardly ground breaking and I thought when it ended that I'd seen it before and much better.