NEVER BACK DOWN
NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Frank.
The movie starts with a late night football game in the rain. We meet our star, number 44 Jake (Sean Farris) who is playing on the defense and is dominating the opposing team. Time after time he is shown making a bone-crushing hit on whoever is carrying the ball. The opposing coach takes notice of Jake's outstanding play and dispatches a player named Moore to slow him down. Jake is a gifted athlete, but clearly plays with a chip on his shoulder. After each tackle Jake gets into a shoving match with the player he hits. After another vicious hit, Jake and another player start talking trash to each other. At this point, the other player says something to Jake about his father’s death. He mentions that Jake’s father was on the sauce (alcohol) and that he was stupid for driving drunk. This sends Jake in to a rage and he begins to fight the player, then the rest of the team. Both teams join the brawl and Jake knocks one kid out with one punch (important).
After the fight Jake is invited to a post game fight but declines saying he has to finish packing. When asked why he is moving to Orlando, he informs his teammates that his little brother Charlie is a tennis phenom and has received a scholarship to a school there.
When Jake arrives home he is questioned about the game fight by his mother (Leslie Hope). They argue about the game and his violent temper and Jake tells him mom that she need not worry about his temper on the football field because he will not be playing football in Orlando. Charlie (Wyatt Smith) asks Jake if the guy he fought looks better then the bruise on his face or worse.
Later that night Charlie asks Jake if he hates him for being the reason they must move to which Jake replies, “No’. It is clear that they are close and Charlie looks up to Jake. While packing the Uhaul the boys come across a box of some old clothes of their fathers and Jake labels the box USELESS STUFF before they leave.
When the boys arrive in Orlando, Jake tells Charlie that they should turn around and go right back to Iowa but their mom would miss them and Charlie replies that she would miss only miss him and the brothers share a laugh.
Jake's first day at the new school and he manages to show up his new classmates by answering a question posed by the teacher when no one else could. The question was about the Greek mythologies The Iliad (again important later). This catches the eye of a very pretty classmate named Baja (Amber Heard). After class Baja introduces herself to Jake and they converse for a while. Jake is clearly smitten with her.
Later that day, Jake attempts to break up a fight where one kid is outclassed by the other. Both fighters rebuff his attempts to stop the fight while other students egg them on. As Jake walks away, the kid he tried to save takes a real beat-down. At lunch the same kid who got beat up approaches Jake and introduces himself as Max (Evan Peters). Jake asks why Max let the other guys beat him up and Max tells him that it was a sanctioned fight. He also tell Jake that he knows who he is and refers to the game fight from Iowa. Jake is surprised but Max tells him he saw it on the net (like a Youtube video) and that people are talking about it. That night Jake's mom mentions that Jake still has not unpacked and they argue again about Jake's bad attitude.
At school the next day, everyone whispers about the game fight video as Jake passes through the halls. After school, Baja invites Jake to a party that night. He accepts while her friends tease him for being from the “country”. Jake catches a bus to the party, which is held at a massive home with plenty of nice cars, beautiful girls in bikini’s and alcohol. Max introduces Jake to Ryan (Cam Gigandet) who is hosting the party. Jake remembers Ryan as one of the guys who watched Max get beat up the other day at school. Ryan and Jake continue to converse until Ryan informs him that they must fight. At that moment Jake realizes that Baja invited him so Ryan could fight him and that they are dating. As the crowd forms and Max begins to record the fight, Jake informs Ryan that he does not wish to fight. Ryan tells him that to be the best, you have to beat the best and tells him he too has seen the video. He tells Jake he is a natural but now he has to kick his A**. Again, Jake attempts to leave but Ryan goats him by talking about his father. This infuriates Jake and he agrees to fight. Ryan deals Jake a sever beat-down, mostly because Jake will not give up. The fight can only be won by knockout or submission and Ryan defeats him by knockout. Max drives Jake home as he continues to blackout.
The next day, Charlie sees Jake's face and again asks him if the other guy looks worse. Max comes over and tells Jake that he is a natural fighter and has heart. Max gives him a DVD with fighters trained by his trainer, Jean Roqua (Djimon Hounsou) at his training facility called 365 because it is open 365 days a year. After he initially hesitates, Jake soon takes up Max on his offer to join him.
At the training facility we see many fighters being trained by Roqua. Jake joins in and tells Roqua he is a fast learner. The workout is intense but Jake does impress Roqua with his heart. Roqua agrees to train him but his only rule is no fighting outside; Jake agrees.
Back at school Baja attempts to apologize to Jake multiple times but is shot down. Jake trains very hard and Roqua teaches him techniques and breathing.
Jake continues to fight with his mother and that anger translates to his aggressiveness.
One day after school Jake attacks three guys who honked at him in their SUV. He beats the crap out of all three while Max records it all on his camcorder. The video makes the rounds and Jake is now popular again but he is kicked out of training for violating Roqua's only rule (no outside fighting).
One night Charlie has a black eye from a school fight and Jake argues with his mom and she tells him he is not the only one who is angry and she breaks a glass against the wall. She then tells Charlie to do the same with his plate, which he does. Afterwards both she and Charlie tell Jake that venting helps them deal with their issues and he should be a better role model for Charlie.
Roqua eventually gives in and allows Jake and Max to train again. With his new attitude Jake becomes Roqua’s star pupil. They get close and Jake explains that the night his dad died, he allowed him to drive instead driving himself. Roqua explains why he has no family, sleeps in the gym, and it is open 24/7. Roqua and his brother where pro fighters in Brazil but his brother was killed after a bar fight and his father disowned him.
Through Roqua’s training, Jake makes up with his mother, brother, and Baja who has broken up with Ryan for what he did to Jake. Ryan attacks Jake in the school bathroom and again shows Jake he is the better fighter. Ryan tells Jake they will settle their beef at the beat-down. Max tells Jake the beat-down is an underground fighting tournament that will be held in a month and Ryan is the 2-time champ.
After intense training Jake is at peace and decides not to participate in the beat-down. When Ryan hears this he tricks Max to come to his house on the day of the tourney and beats him badly. Ryan’s boys leave Max at Jake’s house and Jake, Charlie and Baja accompany him to the hospital. The doctor tells them that he will be OK but has broken ribs among other injuries.
In his anger Jake leaves and goes to the beat-down. Roqua tries to stop him but Jake tells him that like Achilles and the story of Troy, sometimes you have to fight today so that you don’t have to fight later.
The beat-down is held at a club and it has 32 fighters. All the fighters are good and they push both Jake and Ryan to the limit. In the quarterfinal match Jake injures his ribs but wins the fight. Ryan is DQ’ed for eye gouging.
In the semifinals Jake sees that Ryan is out so he quits and leaves. Outside the two have words and Jake again tries to walk away. Ryan attacks Jake from behind and the fight is on. All the spectators spill outside to watch the fight. From the start Jake and Ryan seem evenly matched until the crowd points out that Jake’s ribs are broken. Ryan takes advantage and is about to choke Jake out. At that moment Jake thinks of all the people he cares about and those thoughts are enough to will him forward. Jake reverses the chokehold and they both get to their feet. Jake remembers the first technique Roqua taught him. Jake lands 3 hooks and finishes Ryan off with a kick to the face. Jake wins by knockout while the crowd chants his name.
In the last scene we see Roqua closing the 365 and has purchase a plane ticket to Brazil to see his father. Back at a local hangout Max and Jake arrive and Jake and Ryan each nod at each other. Jake makes his way inside where Baja greets him with a kiss…
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