Never Back Down - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Never Back Down Reviews

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½ August 15, 2018
Cliched is right. Its almost identical to The Karate Kid with MMA. I will give credit to Djimon Hounsou, who is no Mr. Miyagi but manages to bring forth a decent performance.
April 17, 2018
This is my favorite movie! <3
½ April 12, 2018
The only good thing is Amber
½ March 13, 2018
Why is this movie so criticist? I thought it was an awesome story told in a badass way. Yea I know you can gets half of the movie by watching the first 30 minutes, but the story is still cool. Yea just overall a bad-ass movie.
½ March 3, 2018
Enjoyed Djimon Hounsou and Evan Peters on this.
Movie its nothing new, just entertaining.
Fight sceenes are good, but its just cliché after cliché.
January 3, 2018
Amazing movie start to finish.
July 27, 2017
With the bad reviews it got, I expected far less. However, I was greatly surprised by this thought-provoking film and really enjoyed it.
½ April 19, 2017
dumbest generic movie ever made. I didn't care for any character but the trainer.
½ April 10, 2017
Imagine if the Karate Kid remake was actually good. That's his movie
October 11, 2016
this is the best movie it shows love, heart, acceptance and growth it shows whatever your going threw its how you deal with not that its there you either fight it off or accept it but you "never back down"
August 12, 2016
Watched this one with a buddy. All I can say is that it's a fun movie to watch with the boys. And oh wow, is that Tate from American Horror Story?
jamrcla
Super Reviewer
½ July 29, 2016
Better than I expected with some pretty good fight scenes, Ok the acting is pretty bad and it did feel like adult version of Karate Kid, But if you can ignore all of that and just enjoy the fights you will like it.
½ April 23, 2016
This Is Karate Kid but set now and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) instead of Karate. Is Got everything that as (apart from fancy dress party), even fight where he hurts his ribs and a Mr.Miagi. Good film just makes you wanna start workin out and kickin ass
½ March 14, 2016
I agree with most reviews that this movie is Karate Kid with UFC thrown in, but I honestly think it improves on the original in many ways.

When we meet Jake Tyler, he's all rage issues and anger with talk about his old man being a white hot trigger that sets him off. With quick flashbacks and temper flare-ups with shirts, it feels like his dad could be the villain, but we quickly realize that all that rage is a volcano of guilt for backing down when it came to something that mattered, for not putting up a fight when he should have. It eats at him with everything he does: he doesn't drive because he didn't drive then, he fights because he couldn't fight then, he's a complete mess.

He seems fairly loose and willing to give things a try in the move, more than most people would be on their first day I'd think. When he learns that the past has followed him to his new location and he becomes betrayed and trapped into a fight because of past reputation, I feel for him. There are a ton of cameras and online videos in this movie, but it's not about the glory of the internet. It's about the horrors how everything you do can haunt you, like how his entire school knew about his dead father by the middle of the week and used it to bully him into a beatdown. It's also about taking control of yourself so you won't be ashamed of what you do in the future.

I really like the use of Hounsou's school as an outlet. I had the mother's same reaction when he continued on getting roped in by Max to live vicariously through him and his fighting prowess. But it wasn't about fighting. It was about dealing with his inner fury, learning to control and manage it so it would no longer control him. It was about healing, and his coach knew it, saw it, and managed it in a safe environment with a steady but forceful hand.

There's also no one flat in this movie. Every named character has a motivation, reason, and thing they hate about themselves or their situation that they are dealing with. Max pushes Jake into fighting because that's all he has with his family not around, and seeing someone so good at something he wants to do confuses him. Baha hates the manipulation and the games McDonald creates. McDonald has a home life with an insecure father who makes his kid feel weak to feel strong himself. Jake's mother is dealing with grief and loss and anger of her own, but she can't let it out because she has two kids depending on her, one of whom is going to a very prestigious school and she's at work often judged by the uniform she wears and the amount she's not at home. There's great dynamics between the principal cast.

One of my favorite things about the movie was the end. Yes, even though the movie hit all the points of your standard 'underdog vs bully with big tournament showdown' movie points, I can't recall any movie where the main character walks away completely from the tournament. The fact that he wasn't there for the championship, he was just there so no one else in his life would get hurt by stopping the guy doing it, and the way he left it there... the fight after really doesn't matter except for McDonald's character arc. Jake Tyler's already finished his and overcome his demons.

I believe that despite a plot we've seen hundreds of times and these rich white suburbanites so bored that they all fight club, the characters were really rich for a film of its type, the fight scenes themselves were really crisp and well-executed, the points it was trying to make were sound and well-founded by the actions and histories of the characters themselves, and Jake Tyler was an infinitely better protagonist than Daniel LaRusso.
February 8, 2016
One of the best fighting movies I've seen yet. Not the best movie ever though.
½ December 12, 2015
Very simple, but an enjoyable story I can relate to somewhat.
½ September 13, 2015
Clichà (C)d it may be, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.
September 13, 2015
Actually quite enjoyable. Nowhere near as bad as other reviews.
August 26, 2015
I don't usually like sports time movies. But this one was solid. Great cast of actors and the storyline was fun. Great fight scenes.
July 17, 2015
I believe this film is all about movie tastes. I mean at times it could be corny but still its a classic storyline lol. Even though predictable you just can't mess with it. Those love triangles, best friend getting his ass kicked, revenge, some sort of moral, and of course above all else decent fighting scenes. Who wouldn't enjoy seeing another movie about someone who has no fighting background work his ass off from nothing to champ. Look at the karate kid series, breathing fire, only the strong old classics with the same basis as this movie. All in all through all the rambling it was a pretty good movie.
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