S.I.M Rating: 7.72 out of 10 (12 Votes)
Cast: Sean Faris, Djimon Hounsou and Amber Heard
Chris Hauty was inspired to write Never Back Down after his son drew his attention to YouTube videos of school fights. The action film, directed by Jeff Wadlow and starring Sean Faris, Djimon Honsou and Amber Heard, presents an unflinching, but predictable take on Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as well as violence in schools.
Jake (Faris) and his family have recently moved to Florida from Iowa, supposedly to further Jake's tennis aspirations. However, a video of Jake involved in a fight at his previous school becomes the buzz of his new school, and he finds himself with an unwanted reputation that soon leads to him being goaded into proving himself. A new friend feels sympathy for Jake and introduces him to MMA.
Despite the overuse of nearly every cliche imaginable in such a premise (think 'Fight Club' or 'Karate Kid'), Never Back Down manages to expose the somewhat disturbing trend of bullying, and the even more disturbing "celebrity" status that YouTube frequently bestows upon this type of activity.