A frustrated and conflicted teenager arrives at a new high school to discover an underground fight club and meet a classmate who begins to coerce him into fighting.
It's a typical story. Teenage boy has a troubled youth, moves to a new town, starts at a new school, meets a girl, runs in on an arranged fight, gets set up by the girl and looses to her violent boyfriend.
The girl feels bad and says sorry, but he can't forgive her so he and Max start training at a gym run by Jean Roqua (Djimon Hounsou). Add in some uplifting pop music, intense training sessions, contemplations, complicated relations and one big showdown aaand there you have it.
And it's good! It has both pace and punch, not to mention personality. It's the first and foremost of the franchise, and most certainly why they made the rest of them.
Sean Faris and Cam Gigandet are good adversaries, Evan Peters a good sidekick, and there's Amber Heard again - the girl I'm starting to rec... no wait, that's a different girl. Was thinking of Maika Monroe.
I've seen the movie before, I realized when it started, and I thought that'd make me want to skim but... this just isn't one of those movies. It keeps the pace. You don't want to miss a second, not the action nor the relation stuff. And it all works out! The story may be basic but it's a solid movie by all measures. Good fights and... well, it's not just the fights. Good watch.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle