What I did for love -or- A Karate Kid for ’08(movie review)

Never Back Down
now playing in multiplexes everywhere

Love is a grand phenomenon. It brings forth life. It heals wounds. It even makes a naysayer like me sit through (and enjoy!)a teen feel-good movie about MMA. Blues is a huge fan, and former fighter, of Mixed Martial Arts, that kickass(or asskicking) combo of wrestling, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and other forms of hand-to-hand combat. MMA makes UFC and fight clubs the gladiator sport of the moment. In new action-drama, Never Back Down, MMA helps a young man come of age to a rocking soundtrack set in glam Orlando(who knew Orlando was an East Coast Beverly Hills? I’m getting old!) Unknown hottie Sean Faris plays Iowa transplant Jake Tyler, an ex football star bursting with anger over his father’s drunk driving death. He quickly falls for Ms. Popular, Baja Miller(another pretty unknown, Amber Heard)without realizing she’s the suffering girlfriend of Big Man and Bully on Campus, Ryan McCarthy(still yet another unknown, Cam Gigandet). Jake is lured into the world of MMA after he’s humiliated at a party. The rest is predictable but likable. Kudos to the always wonderful model-turned-actor Djimon Honsou as the Mr. Miyagi character.

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