Never Surrender: the review

We joke a lot on Fightlinker about the “Fighter lifestyle” and why the wet dreams of “meatheads” are usually predictably hilarious. Every juice monkey secretly wishes that he was the toughest man on the planet, capable of laying siege to his enemies and fucking the shit out of their hot and obviously sexually unfulfilled “bitches”. So, when it comes to writing movies for such a demographic, let’s just say that subtlety, character development, and plot are obstacles that must  not only be overcome:  they must be destroyed.

If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming an action star but lacked the charisma, physical beauty and acting talent to do so, you need to take a closer look at what Hector Echavarria is doing. He had the brilliant idea that the only real way to star in an action movie is to write, produce, and direct it yourself. Only then will you truly be able to capture the sheer awesomeness that is you.

Of course, if everyone was wise enough to actually realizes that making movies requires a degree of talent most people simply don’t possess, then there would never be gems like Never Surrender. These kinds of terrible scripts would be filling another landfill in California. Luckily, talent, looks and physical attractiveness are not obstacles that deter Hector from making one movie after another. If there was a prize for determination in the face of such an overwhelming lack of film making ability, it should go to Echavarria.

The movie itself is perhaps one of the biggest masturbatory projects I’ve ever watched. There isn’t one moment on screen where people aren’t commenting on the fact that his character, Diego Carter, is the most awesome fighter on the planet. During his many montages, trainers, friends and lovers all observe his moves (which are obviously stilted since the man is 40, and moves like a 50 year old) with hammy approving smiles and nods. During the entirety of the movie, Diego doesn’t lose one fight, or spend more than a few seconds lying on the mat. To call him a winner would be a disservice to the word; the man is apparently a fighting God.

Despite having to watch the perpetual jerking off of Hector’s character, there are certain benefits that come with such a vanity project. His insatiable urge to prove his machismo predictably lead to a number of soft core porn scenes involving a bevy of attractive women Hector undoubtedly all fucked. What’s the point in making movies if you can’t have a “casting couch” anyways; am I right? The entire movie has a very satisfactory level of nudity provided you can stand the sight of a 40 year old man doing his best to try and be “sexy”. Thankfully the camera is fixed almost entirely on boobs, ass, and even the occasional camel toe.

The main bad guy looks like Randy Couture’s stunt double, and his pathetic accent seems to come and go depending on who is in the room. He’s good at looking mad though, and in every scene where he abuses women, he does so with a gusto that can only come from having been married several times. In his defense, Patrick Kilpatrick (yes, that’s his name) doesn’t have much to work with: his character is written straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon, with about as much emotional depth as Destro. The end scene involves one of the most poorly put together gun fight, followed by the world’s slowest escape. Despite the fact that every “good guy” seems guilty of murder by the end of the film, the cops seem uninterested in the stretch limo that slowly drives away from the crime scene.

The most hilarious parts of Never Surrender has to be the hurried inclusion of a number of MMA superstars that look, unsurprisingly, wooden and awkward in front of the camera. It was obvious that shooting schedules were rushed, and so apart from a few random scenes where they show up, their presence is never felt. During one scene, BJ Penn litterally pops out of nowhere to help Diego fight some bodyguard. GSP’s role is particularly confusing: he has a random fight with Hector’s guard for no reason other than the fact that Diego is “busy”, and does not want to be disturbed. After dispatching the man with some clumsy fight choreography, Georges then proceeds to warn Hector of the dangers of underground MMA fights before disappearing from the movie forever. It just feels like a giant tease. Every scene with professional MMA fighters feels like a desperate attempt to show us how cool he is for knowing these guys. Yes Hector, you’re cool. Feel better now?

Now despite the fact that the movie has no real conflict, character growth or even a satisfying showdown, the movie has to be experienced for the pleasure of seeing just how amusing and hilarious Hectors secret fantasies are. It may be a masturbatory celluloid failure, but even I can’t deny how thoroughly entertaining it is to watch. If he can keep producing these divine comedies, then I’ll have to call myself a fan. Scary, I know.

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