Never Back Down Review

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At his new high school, a rebellious teen is lured into an underground fight club, where he finds a mentor in a mixed martial arts veteran.


There have been many quasi-remakes of The Karate Kid, but this is the only one to fuse the ’80s classic with Fight Club.

Yes, the hero must buff up in order to join an underground scrapping ring at his Florida college and take down a rich-kid bully. It’s lightweight and MTV-slick, the main flaw being that the hero is already a stacked American football player, which makes his transformation to stacked martial arts star a lot less rousing than Ralph Macchio’s wimp-to-asskicker arc.

Djimon Hounsou does the noble-tutor–who-must-learn-a-life-lesson-himself thing, while presumably sorting out the details for his new pool between takes.

The Karate Kid meets Fight Club but it's no way near as good as it sounds.