Saturday, May 30, 2009

Movies: Never Surrender

Why do people make movies? The most obvious motivation is money, but not every movie is produced strictly with profit in mind. Just look at "Never Surrender," a low-budget martial arts flick written by, produced by, directed by, and starring Hector Echavarria:

As far as I can tell, the entire film is a vehicle for expressing Echavarria's innermost fantasies. He plays a world champion mixed-martial arts fighter, he beds copious amounts of attractive women, he's friends with the likes of B.J. Penn and Heath Herring. Talk about wish fulfillment!

When you consider that the whole thing is basically the work of one man, it's hard to describe how awful the movie is. Aside from the fun presence of some of the UFC's most popular fighters, every aspect of the movie plays out like a mid-life crisis. The plot (which sees Echavarria's character willingly go into an illegal underground cage-fighting ring in order to...err...) is flimsy and contrived, with notes taken from "Rocky" and '80s kickboxing movies.

There are wince-inducing sex scenes (read: softcore porn), but they're spliced in with wince-inducing fight scenes. Echavarria is noticeably out of shape, and watching him flail around in the cage isn't nearly as entertaining as watching a true action star/martial artist like Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Rating: 2/10


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