I just recently saw both of these movies. Now I'll start off by saying that I do not like UFC or MMA or any of that type of sport. I'm sure it's wonderful and there seems to be a nice sized audience that likes it, but I'm just not sold on it. Mainly I don't like the idea of someone getting pinned down and just beaten silly. I've heard all the arguments and all, I'm just a boxing guy.
That being said, I enjoyed both these flicks. One more than the other but let's go here.... *copying/pasting this from when I posted it before on a sports forum that got ZERO love there. lol*
So I've made my feelings known on MMA. Not a big fan of that or UFC. I'm more of a Boxing guy, and that's fine.
However I just happened to watch two MMA flicks recently, and was really surprised by how much I enjoyed them.
One is ...eh....formulaic and some of the acting is shaky, but overall it was a fun movie watching experience.
the other is fantastic, and came across like a movie for grownups about MMA, not a movie selling towards the high school/early 20's demographic that the 1st one was.
That 1st movie? "Never Back Down".
That 2nd movie? "Redbelt"
The first movie stars no one you've heard of except for Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Amistad, Blood Diamond) and was pretty entertaining. It wasn't a GREAT movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it was kinda cool. Nice to see how they implemented the whole "Youtube" aspect into it.
I grew to hate the "villian" so much while watching this. lol. I was just like "oh will someone please kick the shit out of this guy???"
Apparantly the "bad guy" in this, Cam Gigandet is actually trained in Krav Maga.
The "good guy" in this, Sean Faris apparantly didn't have any training, but he trained pretty hard for this flick and according to IMDB put on 15 lbs of muscle and trained 7 hours a day, 6 days a week for the flick.
It was a pretty good movie though. I liked how Faris had come into the school with this reputation for being a hot head and a badass, and when he got there he realized that 1. he wasn't quite the badass that he had thought, and 2. that he quickly realized that the fighting style at the new school (MMA style) was a lot different than he had ever done which was just straight brawling, boxing.
The movie pretty much nailed all the positive reasons for taking MMA which is to build the self confidence, giving kids an outlet so they're not fighting outside the gym, that kinda thing.
The SECOND movie, Redbelt was fantastic! I've actually ordered this on Blu Ray and it should be here soon.
It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men, The Inside Man, Dirty Pretty Things) as the instructor of a small center. He's really becoming a great star, and will no doubt become a leading man type actor with this movie under his belt and with future ones.
This movie is about a guy who trains policemen and others not to fight in competition, but to survive outside. He doesn't train for them to go get personal glory in tournaments and that kinda thing. He basically just wants them to be able to take care of themselves on the streets if they need to.
This is a David Mamet film, so if you know anything about Mamet you'll know this movie is full of twists and turns and doublecrosses and triplecrosses and that kind of thing. Not nearly as much as some of his previous films (The Spanish Prisoner, Heist).
All the usual players in his films are in here including Rickey Jay and his wife Rebecca Pidgeon.
The movie also stars Tim Allen as an action movie star looking to bring the trainer on to his movie as a "consultant" as the trainer had been a soldier, and the movie was about war.
The movie also includes some MMA fighters such as Randy Coutoure in roles.
And it also stars Max Martini, probably best known recently for his role as "Mac" on the CBS military show "The Unit".
Very good movie, very solid acting and there is not a lot of fighting in this. If you're looking for a movie with a lot of action and fighting, you'd be best to look at that 1st movie Never Back Down.
This is a mature "Grown Folks" movie and it doesn't pander to the audience and just assume everyone is stupid and doesn't have any attention span.
Check it out if you can.
Here's the posters for the two, so if you're in a Blockbuster or whatever, you know what to look for.