Never Back Down
(Run time: 113 min. – Directed by: Jeff Wadlow – Starring: Sean Faris, Amber Heard, Cam Gigandet, Djomon Hounsou)
Never Back Down is a fast-paced, action filled, fight movie that, pardon the pun, kicks ass! It stars Sean Farris as Jake Tyler, a high school tough guy, who has to move to Florida after his brother gets a tennis scholarship. Anyone whose a fan of the UFC will love Never Back Down because its a cool mix of Rocky and Karate Kid but set in a modern time. Then throw in a the reality of the high school social scene and the internet and you’ve got something really relatable.
After moving to Florida Jake accidentally meets Max played by Even Peters, a bushy haired MMA wannabe/groupie, fighting under the bleachers. He offers Jake to come train with him at Jean Roqua’s, played perfectly by Djomon Hounsou, 365 Gym. But, Jake’s got other things on his mind like, Amber Heard who plays Baja Miller, the hot chick in school. But, after Baja invites Jake to a party where he gets tricked into a fight with Ryan McCarthy, played by Cam Gigandet, he decides to start training. Inevitably leading to a rematch between Jake and Ryan.
Sean Farris played this role perfectly and he sort of reminded me of Tom Cruise in Far and Away. (Cruise was a bare knuckle brawler.) Djomon Hounsou, whose proved his acting and action skills in several movies including Gladiator, plays a strong, believable character whose fighting philosophy is the title of the movie.
Cam Gigandet as Ryan is a rich and cocky, tough guy who seems he might be able to really back it up in real life. Ironically, he’s motivated but the same thing that motivate Jake. His father, for a different reason, but still his father. Then there’s Amber Heard, the love interest. Amber does a real good job at playing a sincerely caring high school girl. A little unrealistic in my experiences but still she’s good.
This young cast is awesome and so is this movie! Kudos’ to you Sean Faris you did a perfect job! I recommend this movie to the young at heart, fight junkies of the world with no fear that you’ll be let down in anyway. Never Back Down is the hands up, winner.