Courtesy of TheMerrazEffect
I have to admit, I was cautiously optimistic that this would turn out to be a decent representation of MMA. After all, Eddie Bravo and Scott Epstein were involved in the movie and had been boasting about how realistic Never Back Down 2 was going to be in comparison to the original.
Boy, did they ever mislead the movie-going public. If they were going for realism, they missed the mark by a few miles. There could scarcely have been less realism had Pixar got involved and turned it into an animated flick.
The film is directed by and stars Michael Jai White as a washed-up former mixed martial artist who trains a select few young men whom he deems worthy of his knowledge—no one knows his criteria for determining worthiness.
Hilariously, Todd Duffee also has a prominent role in the movie, as one of Michael Jai White’s students. If you thought Channing Tatum was wooden in Fighting, just wait until you see Duffee’s tree-like performance.
Now, back onto the subject of realism. How realistic is it that an MMA trainer would, instead of focusing on grappling, teach a former pro boxer capoeira? How realistic is it that an MMA trainer would tell a former wrestler to spend weeks trying to punch a hole in a piece of paper before he tries to learn anything practical?
And don’t even get me started on the scene where Michael Jai White beats seven shades of fecal matter out of five police offers while his hands are, quite literally, tied behind his back. Halfway through, I was looking for extra hands to facepalm with.
Maybe I’m taking this too seriously, but when Eddie Bravo tells me that an MMA movie is going to be realistic, I don’t expect the one-night tournament that concludes the film to boast more highlight finishes than have occurred in the UFC’s 20-year history.
If you decide to watch the movie, feel free to tweet Eddie Bravo some of your questions regarding its supposed realism.