Friday, 4 April 2008

Never Back Down Review

Look children! Its Fast and the Furious with Fists! Its Fight Club for Fucked up Fourteen year olds! Its King of the Kickboxers without Keith Cooke! Its the Karate Kid meets the O.C.!
I do apologise for the amount of exclamation marks but its summer time and I'm nice and happy now. Does this mean all the reviews over the next few months will be positive and love will shine out from this website settling peace throughout the land? No, because after watching this all I wanted to do was punch the writer. Hard. In the Face.

Tom Cruise lookalike, Sean Faris is Jake Tyler (Durden?!). A high school kid whose been in his fair share of fisticuffs since his father wrapped his truck round a tree. Moving to a new school (the catalyst for all coming of age movies it seems) he falls for Mandy Lane (that chick who plays Mandy Lane). Unfortunately she is dating Brad Pitt lookalike, Ryan McCarthy (Cam Cigandet) whose main aim in life is to beat people up. Its all okay though because its pre-arranged and nobody really gets hurt.

Surprisingly this isn't the worst film in the world. Don't get me wrong its not good, but theres something to be had here. The leads are poster boys and Mandy is jailbaitingly alluring, pouting and biting her top lip in a way that leads me to be believe she started her career in porn. But the main draw is definitely Djimon Hounsou playing well below his station (it seems nobody is shooting an In America or Blood Diamond at the moment, but the guys got bills to pay). He is the Mixed Martial Arts tutor who instructs Sean into the ways of being able to kick the crap out of someone, but all the time telling him he shouldn't. As the title suggests though the final fight is coming whether the ideals of the film want it to or not.

This for me is the big let down of the movie. His mum, his mentor and his girlfriend all tell him not to go brawling in car parks but then in the last reel they have a collective change of heart and egg him on. There would be riots in the cinema if the final fight didn't happen but it does cheapen all the life lessons that come before. Having a go at Hollywood for being irresponsible is like telling pandas to fuck more, but the fact that only one person is hospitalised in these, at times, brutal fights is a little hard to take. But its an MTVesque movie so the police are never called, when someone urgently requires medical assistance they have a lie in instead and by the end everyone has got the R.E.S.P.E.C.T they so, so dearly crave.

No comments: