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March 09, 2008

Never Back Down

Never-back-down-movie-poster Yesterday’s Fight Club is today’s "Combat Club" in this battle of teen six-pack abs. Think of it as softcore teen porn set in a no holds barred world of mixed martial arts. Football star and badass brawler Jake Tyler (Sean Faris) gets moved from Iowa to Orlando, Florida by his stressed-out mom in a vain attempt to prevent him from using his fists. Jake dodges every opportunity to avoid trouble when he falls for Baja (Amber Heard), the bimbet girlfriend of badass bully Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet). Jake gets humbled repeatedly under the supervision of mixed martial arts coach Jean Roqua, who forbids Jake from fighting outside of the gym. Oversexed teens may find "Never Back Down" a fulfilling exercise in punches, kicks, spit, and sweat, but this is a teen exploitation picture with not a lot of story going for it.

Rated PG-13. 113 mins. (D+) (One Star)

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