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The Martial Arts Drama That's Crushing It On Netflix

Martial arts drama fans have tons of great films to choose from when considering their next movie night feature. With classics like "Once Upon a Time in China," "Fist of Legend," and "The Karate Kid," there's always going to be at least one action-packed piece of drama to enjoy for a couple hours. Not only are there innumerable films in the genre, but several huge action stars became known for their butt-kicking work in martial arts flicks, including icons like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li.

Aside from the dozens of well-known martial arts dramas, there are tons of underrated movies out there with different spins on classic tales — and new movies continue to come out every year. One of these underappreciated films is currently making the rounds on Netflix. With stars like Sean Faris, Amber Heard, Cam Gigandet, and Djimon Hounsou at the helm, it's no wonder this movie is finally getting another chance at success on the popular streaming platform. Here's the scoop on this underrated film that Netflix just added to their library.

Never Back Down channels another cult classic

The 2008 martial arts drama "Never Back Down" didn't receive the most favorable reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus states, "Though not without its pleasures, Never Back Down faithfully adheres to every imaginable fight movie cliché." The drama centers around a teenager named Jake Tyler (Sean Faris), who moves to a new school and finds that he doesn't fit in. He also lets his temper get the best of him, which leads to further humiliation. His love interest, Baja Miller (Amber Heard), already has a boyfriend, who beats him up in a fight, prompting Jake's classmate, Max Cooperman (Evan Peters), to  convince Jake that he should learn martial arts. Jake trains with Jean Roqua (Djimon Hounsou) to prepare for an underground fight club rematch against the bully boyfriend, Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet).

"Never Back Down" isn't a new story; critics compared it to David Fincher's 1999 "Fight Club" as well as "The Karate Kid." However, it's worth watching if you're a martial arts fan looking for an action-packed movie with a heartwarming message. As Jeff Bayer of The Scorecard Review put it: "Here's what I hoped for: someone to root for, someone to root against, an inspiring coach, some eye candy and, of course, training montages. I got what I wanted." Martial arts films don't need to reinvent the genre, and "Never Back Down" is the comfort food equivalent of a punch to the face.