Never Back Down

2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
Jake Tyler (Tom Cruise-lookalike Sean Faris) has no sooner arrived at his new Orlando college than he is forced into a fight with Cam Gigandet’s smug bully. Jake is pummelled, but no worries; he enlists the help of Djimon Hounsou’s martial arts sage, who not only shows him some natty moves, but coaches the slow-burning teen in the art of anger-management. By the final reel, Jake’s ready to roll. But just as he’s about to face his nemesis in a clandestine back-street fighting event, he backs off – on the grounds of, er, principles, values, and the like.

Jeff Wadlow’s testosterone-charged ‘Fight Club’-cum-‘Karate Kid’-style urban fight flick sends out conflicting messages. The title suggests ‘an eye for an eye’, yet the content is more about restraint. Granted, the film spends time away from the violence to explore Jake’s mindset, and the fight sequences are well choreographed, but this is still just another predictable, clichéd plod through a well-trodden underdog -comes - good scenario.

By: Derek Adams



Release details

Release date:
Friday April 4 2008
113 mins

Cast and crew

Jeff Wadlow
Chris Hauty
Sean Faris
Amber Heard
Cam Gigandet
Djimon Hounsou
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