Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Never Back Down

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving intense sequences of fighting/violence, some sexuality, partying and language - all involving teens.
Profanity:Strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and non-explicit situation
Alcohol/Drugs:Teen drinking
Violence/Scariness:Graphic peril and violence, brutal fighting with many injuries
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:March 14, 2008

never%20back%20down.jpgThere have been a number of very successful films lately that show one or more high school kids participating in some form of ultimate competition, usually involving dance or sports. The form is as predictable as a limerick: Good-hearted but sullen and misunderstood New Kid comes to school with a tragic backstory to overcome. New Kid has natural talent. Snotty Type thinks he/she is all that. New Kid tries to show off and suffers humiliating defeat. New Kid learns important lessons about life (often from Wise Teacher). He/she and begins to develop a romantic relationship with Love Interest and a friendship with Goofy Sidekick, who is there to provide wisecracks and very often additional motivation by being at risk. Just in time for the big show/game, New Kid finds he/she has the nerve, the skills, and the eye of the tiger. And who is in the audience? Not just Love Interest, but PPP — Previously Prohibiting Parent.


In this movie, the part of New Kid is played by Sean Faris, channeling Tom Cruise (or trying to) as Jake. The part of Snotty Type is Ryan (Cam Gigandet of “The O.C.”), Love Interest is Baja (Amber Heard), Goofy Sidekick is Max (Evan Peters), Wise Teacher is Jean (Djimon Hounsou). And the part of dance or sports is taken by mixed martial arts.
Therein lies the problem.
As movies like “Step Up 2 the Streets” and “How She Move” have already shown this year, this genre can triumph over predictable plots and thin characterizations with some slammin’ music and moves. (I know, that term is outdated. But that’s the kind of terminology that passes for hip in these movies.) But this is just about slammin’ — it is based on the idea that there is something courageous and significant in having people beat up on each other. In “Fight Club,” the fights were meaningful because they represented a metaphor for internal and external frustrations of modern life, for a need to feel something and connect to something in a world and a self that can feel splintered and antiseptic. In this movie, it is just a chance for some fetishised footage of taut, muscular young men grappling with and pounding on each other. All I could think was, “Oh, go ahead. Back down. We’ll all be happier.”
Parents should know that this movie is up against the edge of an R rating. Teenagers engage in a great deal of foolish and risky behavior including brutal and graphic fights and partying with underage drinking. There is a reference to alcohol abuse and a sad (offscreen) death. There are sexual references, girl/girl kissing, and a non-explicit sexual situation. Characters use strong and crude language.
Families who see this movie should talk about what the title means and why Jake and Ryan had different ideas about what constituted winning. What did fighting mean to Ryan? To Jake? To Max and to Jean?
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy The Power of One and The Karate Kid.



  • ChatteringMind

    Oh Movie Mom, you are the best. You tell it like it is. My kids wanted to see this but I think we’ll do something else tonight! Anyone for board games? A classic film?

  • http://msn rztlibm

    un bo film c tune bell histoir

Previous Posts

Interview: Nancy Spielberg and Roberta Grossman of "Above and Beyond"
In 1948, a group of World War II pilots volunteered to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. As members of "Machal" (volunteers from abroad), they not only turned the tide of the wa

posted 1:26:49pm Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Women Talk About Making Movies
The New York Times talked to women in Hollywood about making movies. Some of the highlights: “What’s wrong with bossy? It’s O.K. for a man.” Barbra Streisand, Director (“The Prince of Tid

posted 3:55:17pm Jan. 27, 2015 | read full post »

When The Movie Plays With the Studio Logo
I got a big kick out of the post by Matt Singer from Screen Crush about movies that begin before the beginning by amending the studio's opening logo.   Most recently, of course "The LEGO Movie" did the logo in Legos.  But before that, movies like "Scott Pilgrim," "Cat Ballou," "Alien 3," and "Wate

posted 8:00:10am Jan. 27, 2015 | read full post »

From Hermione to Belle: Emma Watson to Star in Live-Action "Beauty and the Beast"
Disney is working on a new live-action "Beauty and the Beast," a follow to the upcoming "Cinderella," and they have announced that "Harry Potter's" Emma Watson will star as Belle. It will be directed by Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls," "Kinsey"). Watson made the announcement on her Facebook page: “I

posted 12:18:20pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

SAG Awards 2015
The Screen Actors Guild awards for television and movies in 2014 are in and it looks like Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, and J.K. Simmons are in line to bring home Oscars on February 22. The tough one to call right now is Best Actor, down to the wire between Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton.

posted 9:00:38am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.