Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore


Genre: Action/Drama/Sports
Starring: Sean Faris, Amber Heard, Djimon Hounsou, Cam Gigandet. Evan Peters
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Rating: M18 (Some Mature Content)
Year Made: 2008






Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Fullscreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Alliance Entertainment
Official Website:




Jake is the new kid in school. When a beautiful girl befriends him, Jake thinks he's set. But instead, her fight-club boyfriend Ryan smacks Jake a bloody, black-eyed welcome. Humiliated, Jake then turns to a mixed martial arts (MMA) master, who teaches him how to fight... and how to walk away. But it becomes obvious that a brutal re-match is inevitable if Jake wants to stop Ryan and his bullying once and for all.


Can you recall watching those typical HK martial-arts classics whereby the protagonist after suffering a defeat went to seek a grand master’s teachings and emerge as the winner in the re-duel with the villain?

Well, change the setting to a high school in modern day Orlando and instead of Chinese martial-arts, throw in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and you get "Never Back Down".

Jake Tyler (played by Sean Faris who looked like a young Tom Cruise with a mole) arrives from Iowa and got himself seriously walloped when a rich brat and also MMA champion Ryan McDonald challenged him to a bloody fight during a party.

Besides dealing with his opponent’s harassment, Jake has to deal with his Dad’s death and his crumbling relationship with his mother. Thus in comes the 'sifu' (master), Jean Roqua (Djimon Hounsou) who steps in to dispense nuggets of wisdom and at the same time, impart his MMA skills to Jake. All this while, Jack still manages to squeeze time to romance a girl name Baja (Amber Heard).

Even with the presence of the ever reliable Hounsou, "Never Back Down" is yet another predictable sport, family drama without much credentials in the writing or acting department to talk about. It can be a tad disturbing to see people beating up one another for no substantial reason other than in the name of MMA. Will the youngsters find this inspiring to pick up MMA? You know in "Never Back Down", bruises can miraculously be healed over night but not ego. This perhaps explains why our over-protective censors decide to label this DVD as M18 (Some Mature Content) in case it sends the wrong message to vulnerable teens.

The whole movie reeks heavily of testosterone, machoism and pumping loud music soundtracks. The YouTube, MTV generation and fans of "Step Up" series will definitely lap this one up. And of course, some selected segment of the audience will find consolation in the leads’ solid six-pack ab. I suppose there’s no need for me to tell you how it ends.




The DVD transfer is passable and the Dolby Digital 2.0 is sufficient for the material. I guess you won’t miss out much unless you crave to hear hordes of people shouting "Fight! Fight!" in 5.1 audio.



Review by Linus Tee


. Never Back Down (Movie Review)

Other titles from Alliance Entertainment:

. Virgin Territory

. Shutter

. Little Fish

. Shanghai Kiss

This review is made possible with the kind support from
Alliance Entertainment


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.