By: Jacob Bloodee Jacob Babcock
Never Back Down: No Surrender was released in 2016. This is the second film in the series to be directed by as well as star the incredible Michael Jai White who also helped put together the story in this one. I never seen the unrelated original film but I liked Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown. This one I enjoyed even more if not LOVED!
Jai White is absolutely at the forefront in this, the lead rather than just a mentor role as his character Case Walker begins a possible resurgence for his career. He reconnects with an old friend and fellow fighter (played by real life MMA fighter Josh Barnett) as both are eventually led into another corrupt organizations event. The story is what you’d expect for the genre but it was more entertaining than many of its ilk and the fight choreography was superb as it mixed the martial arts you’d wanna see in a MJW movie as well as real MMA style moves and holds which he of course does all himself too as MJW is one of the most legitimate action movie stars EVER.
He brings his usual cool charisma and maintains a good character. #joshbarnett doesn’t do a bad job acting wise either and MJW’s real life wife Gillian White holds her own performance wise too. Esai Morales is a typical crook at the center of it but he does alright and Nathan Jones (Troy, Mortal Kombat 2021, etc) makes for a formidable sort of psycho force onscreen as always. There’s even a funny cameo from the excellent Tony Jaa and Quentin “Rampage” Jackson.
Overall the plot plays out as you’d expect but it’s still engaging enough, well shot and satisfying with some really nicely done fights throughout that make for one of the most solid and best times I’ve had with a movie like this in awhile and make no mistake…I watch A LOT! Loved it! Michael Jai White is the man!👊