Satur­day night’s all right for fight­ing

NEVER BACK DOWN Di­rected by Jeff Wad­low. Star­ring Sean Faris, Dji­mon Houn­sou, Cam Gi­gan­det, Am­ber Heard, Evan Peters

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Filmreviews - DON­ALD CLARKE

15A cert, gen re­lease, 110 min I’VE SEEN some hyp­o­crit­i­cal films in my time, but this ram­pag­ing orgy of inanity achieves hith­erto unimag­ined lev­els of phoni­ness.

The chaos that stands in for a plot finds an an­gry youth (Sean Faris) from quiet Iowa – he ac­tu­ally looks old enough to re­mem­ber The Glit­ter Band – be­ing forced to move to some aw­ful, mid­dle-class cor­ner of Florida. He im­me­di­ately gets drawn into the un­li­censed prize-fight­ing that takes place daily in his high school. He falls in love with a girl. But she adores the guy with the most money, the big­gest fists and the tini­est frontal lobes.

One sus­pects that, hop­ing to achieve a zeit­geist-defin­ing mo­ment in the man­ner of Satur­day Night Fever, the pro­duc­ers have mod­elled the de­tails of the brawl­ing (footage of fights is posted on the in­ter­net) on in­for­ma­tion just re­cently ripped from the head­lines. Be­ing re­spon­si­ble fel­lows, they were, of course, ap­palled and have or­gan­ised their plot so that the hero soon tires of the un­mon­i­tored scrap­ping and falls in with a re­spon­si­ble trainer (Dji­mon Houn­sou).

“You don’t fight out­side this gym,” he warns. “Well, not un­less you re­ally, re­ally want to,” he should have added.

Be­fore the cred­its roll, the hero does, of course, find an ex­cuse to get back in the ring and kick peo­ple re­ally hard in the head. Over and over again.

Never Back Down is, to be fair, quite well made and rea­son­ably com­pe­tently acted. Sadly, it is also a great big fake. Stay well away.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.