Director Jeff Wadlow takes us to the underground MMA fight scene in Orlando, Florida (from a high school perspective). This young attractive cast enjoys kicking up dust in dark corners of their high school, parties, and in secret fighting events. The scrapping gets recorded and put on YouTube which equates to high school status.
Jake Tyler (Sean Faris) is a high school football star with a short temper. When his younger Brother Charlie (Wyatt Smith) gets a tennis scholarship the family moves to Orlando, Florida where Jake manages to get the wrong kind of attention from the local MMA champion/high school bully Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet). After Jake receives a public beating from Ryan, he discovers trainer Jean Roqua (Djimon Hounsou) who teaches Jake MMA as well moral lessons.
Djimon Hounsou is great as trainer Roqua, that’s where the acting strength lies in this film. The training montage is amplified with a superb soundtrack by Soulja Boy, Daft Punk, Kanye West, Chamillionaire, and Lil Wane to name a few.
Adam R. Holz of Pluggedin.com writes: “The movie gets some things right: The importance of fathers and mothers, for one, as well as the need to take responsibility and deal constructively with tough emotions.”
“Never Back Down” has strong points. Its hip, has positive messages, and training accompanied with a powerful soundtrack will inspire you to get up and hit the gym.
Definitely worth checking out.