Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chicken Soup reviews the movie, "Never Back Down"

Karate Kid was a bad movie with a bad message. Never Back Down was ten times worse and sent the same message on steroids. Remember kids...every petty disagreement must be escalated until at least one person is injured or killed or you won't be a man.

Sean Faris plays Jake Tyler, a quick tempered high school football player who likes to hurt people. Someone shot a video of him beating another player during a game and posted it on the internet. His mother moves the family from Iowa to Florida in order to give Jake's younger brother a shot at a professional tennis career. Jake must now fit in with an entirely new group of students who know almost nothing about him...almost nothing. About all his new fellow students know about him is based upon the video of him fighting. In one memorable scene Jake is strolling down the hallway while an endless parade of hot looking girls give him sultry looks as they watch the video on their cellphones.

The message here is that pretty girls won't give you a second look unless you're a violent sociopath.

Speaking of pretty girls...Amber Heard plays Baja Miller, a thoroughly hateworthy steroid whore who flirtatiously invites Jake the steroid Tyler to a "party" and hands him a small piece of paper with the address on it. Jake goes to the "party" which is set on the grounds of what looks like a mansion. Cam Gigandet plays Ryan McCarthy, the school fighting champion and all around sociopath. Ryan shows Jake around the estate where teenagers are landing what the military would describe as killing blows on other teenagers, seemingly without causing much harm. Then Ryan leads Jake into a room and tells him that he has to fight. This is where Jake learns that he's been set up by Baja Miller who turns out to be Ryan's girlfriend. Baja Miller belongs to the demographic group I describe as "female sociopaths" in my Chicken Soup with the Bully Enablers post. A circle of teenagers closes around them and Jake the steroid Tyler is beaten badly enough to put any ordinary human in the ICU for a long time. Apparently Jake is no ordinary human. The next scene shows Jake waking up with a black eye and a bruised face and his younger brother asking him what the other guy looks like. Amazingly his injuries appear to heal with astounding swiftness.

Yeah, right.

Jake is introduced to an MMA trainer who agrees to train him if he avoids fighting outside of the gym. Jake agrees but ends up taking on three guys who jump out of a manly Humvee and thoroughly defeating them.

What a man.

When the video of that fight hits the internet one teenaged member of the student body can be heard exclaiming, "I heard one of them might die."

What a man.

Oddly, no member of the law enforcement community seems remotely interested in what's going on in their community. In fact there's a stunning absense of adult involvement anywhere in the movie.

I'll wrap this up.

Baja the airhead Miller, suddenly figures out that Ryan "is only happy when he's hurting someone." Apparently she wasn't clued in earlier in their relationship by his choice of hobbies. By the end of the movie Jake the steroid finally proves his worthiness as a man by beating Ryan the sociopath in a fight. Then Baja the steroid whore chooses the new reigning sociopath to be her boyfriend.

Aside from reinforcing the mysogynist's belief that all women are soulless whores who devote their youth to servicing the most violent males they can find, this movie sends the same bad message found in Karate Kid. If you're being victimized by a violent bully, the answer is to become a more highly skilled fighter and then...and only then will you be respected.

Why don't we just close down our prison system and fire all of our law enforcement personnel and declare America to be a jungle where the smallest, weakest, least violent males are as unworthy of life as a Jew at a Klan rally.

As always...domestic terrorists can sleep soundly.


  1. I read the first paragraph.... gonna watch the movie and check the review then. (spoiler-averse)

  2. To be honest, it was on television while I was lying in bed half asleep. I'm sure I missed a few parts and I know it's only a movie, but the deification of violent sociopaths is quite real in American culture.