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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good But Could've Been Great
Never Back Down 2 is very ambitious with overall believable characters and beautiful fight scenes. The filmmakers made the best of what they had and really tried to make a good film. They just needed more money. Michael Jai White stars with more Blood and Bone swagger as Case Walker, an ex-MMA star with a shaky past. He ends up training 4 MMA hopefuls for the upcoming...
Published on September 12, 2011 by SeanLau99

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars overcoming obligatory on-screen obstacles
I should preface the upcoming criticism by mentioning that I am a BIG fan of Michael Jai White and that one's first time tackling a new task often results in a hose with a few kinks. The recognition of potential is what's important and I hope he continues not only directing films, but films like this!

White makes his directorial debut in the form of a...
Published on September 19, 2011 by Mantis


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars overcoming obligatory on-screen obstacles, September 19, 2011
By 
Mantis (Michigan USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
I should preface the upcoming criticism by mentioning that I am a BIG fan of Michael Jai White and that one's first time tackling a new task often results in a hose with a few kinks. The recognition of potential is what's important and I hope he continues not only directing films, but films like this!

White makes his directorial debut in the form of a direct-to-video sequel to the 2008 hit. He also plays Case, a former MMA champ who's on probation and spends his time training young college students for The Beatdown: a 16-man elimination cage-tournament where the winner brings home 10K. His prospects include Tim (Todd Duffee), a student trying to help his financially-struggling mother; Zack (Alex Meraz, "The Twilight Saga"), an injured ex-boxer risking blindness; Justin (Scottie Epstein), a bullied comic-book aficionado; and Mike (Dean Guyer), a collegiate wrestler with a short fuse who's trying to come to terms with his estranged father. Linking it all together is Max (Evan Peters), the sole leftover from the first film, this time funding The Beatdown and holding it in Louisiana.

Unfortunately, the movie is marred by poor pacing and generally unlikable characters, except for Tim (who could be Dolph Lundgren's long-lost son), Case, Justin and Max. Though not the fault of the capable actors, Mike & Zach kinda come off as one-dimensional tools. Until the last 15 minutes anyway. I had no real expectations for this film until I read that White was directing, the fights were being choreographed by Larnell Stovall (who exceeded my high expectations with "Undisputed 3"), and a couple of reviews that boasted that this film "... beats the original in every way". Eh, not quite EVERY way. While I was not a fan of the first film, the acting and pacing was better and the antagonist was more interesting. In fact, a clear antagonist doesn't really emerge here until the last act of the film (where most of the action takes place), which could be an asset, depending on your point of view. Few people ever encounter larger obstacles than that of the self.

OK then, what was better? Well, the fights/training scenes are MUCH better! I said "Larnell Stovall", didn't I? ANY fight in 2 is better than ANY fight in the first film! It would be very difficult to film better cage-fights than Stovall and White produce here. Yeah, they're a little more fancy than authentic MMA but this is a movie and a single coat of gloss is not only inevitable but preferred. And without the shaky, over-edited photography of the first film! No visible stunt-doubles either and some of the fellas have some good moves, especially Alex Meraz. The fights don't come off quite as effective as "Undisputed 3" but perhaps that's because I wasn't nearly as engaged in the plight of the characters here. Not every movie can have Uri Boyka!

The Sony/Stage 6/Mandalay DVD has good, widescreen picture quality with a couple of special features: commentary with White, Duffee, and Epstein and two deleted scenes. Languages available in English, French, Spanish, Portugese, and Thai. Subtitles in all aforementioned languages plus Korean and Chinese, too! On a whole, I did enjoy it, and for fans of DTV kick-flicks and MMA, it is recommended.

2011
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a remake then a sequel. Many of the same ideas from first are in this, I mean a lot. Still good though. I say B, September 3, 2011
By 
Tony Heck (Belgrade, MT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
"An angry mind is a narrow mind." Four teenagers who need an outlet begin to train with ex-UFC fighter Case (White). After one of them betrays the group it is up to the other three to get revenge at the "Beatdown." After liking the first one more then I thought I would I was looking forward to this one. While I did like this movie it was more of a remake then a sequel. Instead of the main characters dad dying he leaves his mom. Instead of the trainer getting in a fight with his brother and living alone he has a run in with the law...and lives alone. The main character liking a fellow fighters girl is in this one, along with a line about Kurt Cobain. There really is not much different in this movie, except the fighting is more prefessional. Saying all that though, I did like this movie. Overall, a near replica of the first one. If you liked that one you will like this one. I give it a B.

Would I watch again? - I don't know, mabye.

*Also try - Never Back Down
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good But Could've Been Great, September 12, 2011
By 
SeanLau99 (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
Never Back Down 2 is very ambitious with overall believable characters and beautiful fight scenes. The filmmakers made the best of what they had and really tried to make a good film. They just needed more money. Michael Jai White stars with more Blood and Bone swagger as Case Walker, an ex-MMA star with a shaky past. He ends up training 4 MMA hopefuls for the upcoming Beatdown 2 which this time takes place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I definitely noticed the difference and missed the Florida/California scenery from the first film. Max (Evan Peters) returns and is the glue that holds the two films together with his wide-eyed enthusiasm as the Dana White/Vince McMahon behind the new Beatdown. The 4 trainees range from decent to pretty good with their acting abilities. Alex Meraz as Zack plays the flashy pretty boy/mack daddy fighter role to the hilt and Scottie Epstein's Justin morphs very well from comic book nerd into MMA psychopath. Todd Duffee's Tim is the gentle giant you don't want to piss off and Dean Geyer's Mike is believable also as the mildly shy pretty boy with anger-management issues. I didn't really care for the Eve (Jillian Murray) character who came off more like a fighter groupie than a true love interest but how well are female characters developed in most of these movies? As I stated earlier, the fight scenes are beautiful and along with Jai White are my main reasons for buying and recommending this film. Also, Bai Ling, Keith Jardine, Heath Herring and Kimbo Slice aren't in it which is a great thing. MJW's direction compliments returning writer Chris Hauty's story. I just wish there was money involved other than the usual direct to dvd loot. I'm sick of seeing strip clubs, warehouses and vacant lots in MMA flicks. A bigger budget with better locations, an at least WWE or TNA worthy soundtrack, a love interest for Jai White and one who seemed to genuinely care for Geyer would have made this the must buy dvd of 2011. A final slick move by Max pitting Case Walker against Djimon Hounsou in a cameo appearance as Jean Roqua would have been phenomenal. Basically, NBD2 is good but it could've been great. Most of Michael Jai White's starring vehicles are in this category. Hopefully, this is all leading up to an action film where he gets to thoroughly shine with the right amount of money behind him. I'm looking forward to that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too good, December 27, 2011
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This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
Not one who usually bashes movies. But people were right about the plot and character development being weak. The fights were ok not the greatest but pretty good considering it was a low budget movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Energetic Action Scenes, But Mediocre Everything Else, November 15, 2014
By 
Basalt (Ponte Vedra, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
"Never Back Down" was a 2008 action movie that attempted to capitalize on the popularity of Mixed Martial Arts. Even though it was panned by critics and only made a tiny profit at the box office, I still found myself liking it for what it was. It wasn't an amazing movie by any means, but it managed to provide some pretty good fight scenes mixed in with a symphathetic underdog story. Three years later, this Direct-To-Video sequel was made, and how does it stack up? Well, the action scenes are slightly better, but nearly everything else about it is subpar.

The story is completely uninteresting and boring. It's just about a group of kids who all desire to compete in the infamous MMA tournament predictably called "The Beatdown." Nothing really compelling happens to them. One has a gay father who left the family for another man. Another has a partially detached retina and could lose his eyesight if he continued to fight. A third is trying to help his mother pay the bills, and the last one is a comic book-loving loser. Its not like the first movie where it showed Jake changing over time as he tried to control his anger with himself over the accident that killed his father. Everyone just feels bland and dull, as there's really nothing that happens to make you care about them.

This movie stars Michael Jai White, who is also the director here. Let's just say that his talents don't really lie in this area. The movie is subjected to the shoddy, amaturish editing and scene transitions that typify DTV releases. There's stop-start fast-forwarding that rapidly gets on your nerves, and scenes transition into each other with absolutely no warning or establishing shots. To add insult to injury, there are even two completely worthless softcore porn sex scenes that were just thrown in there to arouse little boys going through puberty. The acting isn't worth mentioning, as it pretty much sucks for everyone involved.

Where this movie delivers, however, is in the action scenes. The fights as part of "The Beatdown" are pretty engaging, but the standout is when Jai White's character wipes out a whole gang of racist cops. I was cheering and hollering the whole time. This movie uses the same action choreaographer who did "Undisputed 3" and boy does it show. There's a lot of stylish mixed martial arts battles that don't rely as much on the rapid editing and showy camera tricks of the first movie, which makes them more impactful.

The Beatdown is your bog-standard DTV sequel after a somewhat successful first entry. Its subpar in pretty much everything except the action scenes. This movie is strictly a guilty pleasure only for those who like the fight sequences.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, September 18, 2011
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This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
Good movie, wanted a little more out of it. I expected to see more ring action an was kinda let down by that. overall was a good movie though
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5.0 out of 5 stars great movie, March 19, 2014
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This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
this is a very inspirational movie I would highly recommend this to all ages. I can watch it over and over
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4.0 out of 5 stars Decent fighting movie, February 20, 2014
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This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
The lines and dialogue in this movie could definitely have been improved, but nonetheless, it is a decent fighting movie. If you liked the first one, you may like this one. It's relatively the same as the first movie, the only difference is that this one actually brings in real MMA fighters, not just actors like Michael Jai White and the character who played Max from the first movie. This movie really is all about The Beatdown, hence the name, NBD 2: The Beatdown.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I wanted, January 11, 2014
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This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
Perfect movie. I loved the first movie and when I found out that there was a second one, I could not help but buy it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very cool!, November 13, 2013
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This review is from: Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown (DVD)
I was surprised seeing Max Cooperman in the 2nd movie. I know they have different people & different characters but I never knew they were gonna have that one kid from 1st movie to be in this one. :)
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Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown
Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown by Michael Jai White (DVD - 2011)
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