Movie Review – Never Back Down (2008)

Director: Jeff Wadlow

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

After Jake’s (Faris) dad dies, he gets into a lot of fights. The family moves down to Florida for a fresh start, but Jake gets involved in a street fighting ring.

Wow, okay, the descriptions for this film do not do it justice. This is a must-watch. At first glance it seems like it’s going to be a shallow film but there’s a lot of heart here, and the emotions are simmering to the surface. The cast give it there all, and seasoned performers like Honsou provide a good presence to complement the younger stars (which include Evan Peters, who later found fame with American Horror Story and X-Men: Days of Future Past).

It’s a film about taking responsibility for your actions and looking beyond yourself to see how your actions can influence others. The action is intense and the climax is adrenalin fueled. There’s something about fighting films that, when they nail it, they bring an emotional intensity that is unmatched by any other genre of film, and this is one such film. It deals with overarching themes that have been present in the oldest works of literature (as highlighted by the films brief discussion of The Iliad) but they’re all too relevant today.

This is one that isn’t to be missed. I highly highly recommend it. If you like fighting films at all then you have to watch Never Back Down, it’s as simple as that.

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