The Karate Kid Redux: Never Back Down 2008

Never Back Down the Movie

…or should we say Karate Kid V?

Right before I grab a meal at home, I check out some of the local video sites to see if there’s a good flick on.  I usually look for a recent movie like a 2007 or 2008 production film…not as much into the classics.  So, I click on the first movie with a reference to 2008 and it’s this movie called “Never Back Down.”  I have no idea what it’s about, but after enjoying the 110 minute movie, I can only think of one thing: “The Karate Kid” for the year 2008.

This movie matches the Karate Kid screenplay on many levels.  From the hero being a young, brunette to the heroine or lead actress being not only a blond of the blond villain, but also the girlfriend of the “bad guy” initially and then moving over to being the hero’s main fan.  The “coach” for the main character is a minority played by Djimon Hounsou from Blood Diamond fame whereas we remember Pat Morita was the ethnic coach in The Karate Kid.  The story also runs very much like the original flick back in 1984 with the hero moving down to another location, but the twist this time is it’s for his younger brother’s future in tennis instead of his mom’s transfer for a new job.

The other differences are that scenes are truly updated for 2008.  You have references and clips from YouTube.com constantly throughout the movie.  Also, other uses of the Internet are quite apparent and text messages along with the iPhone being used to show clips at school were a constant reminder it was taking place today.

It definitely wasn’t a marvelous new screenplay or story, but it was done well enough that it inspires or motivates like the original movie did with Ralph Macchio as the star of the flick.  It gives you a similar feel that you would have gotten after watching one of the 1970’s or 1980’s Rocky movies.  Yes, it’s cheesy, but it still was worth watching for people like me.

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