Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm gonna stop this guy, win, lose... it makes no difference, it ends tonight. This is my fight. Everyone's got one...

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Mixed Martial Arts. You either love it, think its too violent, or dont know what it is. I happen to be under the love it category. Its engaging, violent and it really takes a lot of athletic talent. Its the fastest growing sport in my lifetime thanks to UFC, WEC, and PRIDE. It is watched by millions of people every day and has spawned its own reality show (The Ultimate Fighter still going strong). But it hasnt really gotten much big movie coverage. There was the mediocre Red Belt, and the GOD AWFUL Fighting, but otherwise their hasnt been that many good MMA movies out there. Well there was one actually and it was called Never Back Down. Here's what I thought of it:

NBD follows the story of Jake, a high school kid who was a star on his football team. But when someone made a crack at his expense he throws a tantrum and kicks some major ass. He gets kicked off the team and goes to a new school. There he meets Baja, the eventual love interest, and Max who would soon become his friend. After school one day he sees Max getting "bullied" but it turns out to be an MMA Fight Club style sort of thing. He is bewildered but interested. He goes to school the next day to find that the video of the fight at his old school is on youtube and that gains him some instant popularity. Baja invites him to Ryan McCarthy's house. Ryan is Baja's boyfriend. Ryan is rich, his dad is a fighter and he is a damn good one himself. Ryan forces Jake to fight but only knowing how to throw a punch when you are going against a trained/training MMA fighter is a losing fight. The next day Max comes over and tells him to train with him and his BJJ (Brazillian Jui Jitsu) trainer Jean Roqua. Jean is a trained fighter with a dark past. He becomes good and learns all that he can from Jean. A little while after there is a tournament called the Beatdown and the rest of the movie revolves around the run up to and the actual event.

The writing and acting are pretty good for an indie movie with only one notable actor (Dijmon Hounsou). Its like a modern day Karate Kid (MMA Kid) without being a rip off. Its entertaining, full of action and does the sport some justice. It does drag a little and its a bit formulatic but what fighting movie isnt. Its not the perfect movie but its a good enough movie to warrant a SEE IT.


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