Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I am somewhat familiar with Hector Echavarria the fighter but what I didn’t know about my man is his apparent intense desire to be a filmmaker. After getting this flick ‘Never Surrender’ in the mail and then clicking on dudes name it reveals that Mr. Echavarria is either directing or starring in or producing no less than five movies in this year alone. That kind of Direct to DVD action output is enough to even make Steven Seagal whisper ‘gatdamn!’ However I’m pretty sure that Echavarria’s filmmaking Holy Grail is not to be the next Steven Seagal, at least not the present day Steven Seagal, but we have to watch this movie ‘Never Surrender’ first to see if there is a new player in the action DVD arena, an arena which could probably use a few new players considering I haven’t seen Don ‘The Dragon’ in anything recently.

The movie starts in The Octagon where Diego Carter (Echavarria) is doing battle with some dude for the championship. Now right off the bat this fake fight is looking a little suspect as the challenger looks like he’s going out of his way not to land any real punches on Echavarria. Regardless, Carter wins and now its party time. But before Carter and his crew can get into the club he runs into a couple of his MMA homeys in B.J. ‘The Prodigy’ Penn and Quentin ‘Rampage’ Jackson who have a some friendly homeboy conversation and then proceed to beat the shit out of some ne’er do well ruffians who, for whatever reason, thought it was a good idea to insult and challenge three dudes who get paid to beat the shit of people.

Inside the club the celebration is flowing until our man Diego sees ‘her’. Now to be honest there were women in the club way hotter than ‘her’ but this one just did it for my man. This ‘her’ is Sandra (Silvia Koys) who whisks Diego away from the club and to the domain of her boss ‘independent’ Russian fight promoter Seifer (Patrick Kilpatrick). Seifer makes Diego a simple offer. Fight for him, make a ton of loot without the problematic managers, referees, sanctioning bodies or Uncle Sam’s greedy

ass, plus you get free access to Sandra. You see in this fight game you are given a hot chick or a ‘consort’ who will keep you company while you’re part of the team, but your consort is up for grabs in each fight so if you win you get a night a pleasure with your opponents consort but if you lose…

So life is good for Diego right about now as he’s kicking plenty of ass, getting paid and having tons of sex. His friends don’t know why he’s forsaken the legitimate fight game for this illegal bullshit but in this new world he’s getting paid, kicking ass and having tons of sex which seems plenty self-explanatory to me. But then Diego finds out how rotten to the core that Seifer is, and not to mention he’s fallen head over heels in love with Sandra who is owned body and soul by Seifer. Now Diego has to bring down this illegal empire and free his girl, but to do this he must go face to face with his toughest challenge ever.

What are to make of this movie ‘Never Surrender’? Despite the fact this movie is filled with dudes who can kick my ass we can’t call it a good movie because the movies flaws are too glaring to overlook. The main flaw would be that nobody in this movie, outside of Patrick Kilpatrick, really knows how to act. James Russo is in the movie but it’s just a glorified cameo. As I have said before, the reason Pro Wrestlers make for better actors is because they are entertainers first and fighters second whereas MMA guys and Boxers are fighters first, second and third. So you’re kind of stuck watching these fighting guys wait on each other to finish their lines so the other can say his memorized lines which made this a chore to watch, at least early on. The plotting and pacing were erratic early on as well, but I gotta tell you, when the fighting and titties kicked in director Echavarria kind of found a bit a groove in this movie.

I wouldn’t say the acting got better but I think I adjusted to it and the same goes with the fight scenes and the plot elements. To cover up his inexperience as a film director Echavarria seemed to stick with what he knows best which I’m guessing is fighting and naked women. Rarely does three minutes go by in this movie without at least a fight scene or a fake sex scene with sometimes Echavarria finding a way to splice them both together. Outstanding. During the final fight scene it looked like Echavarria the director surveyed his set but found something missing. Chained up woman, tied up woman, main bad guy and his gun-toting henchmen were all there but what was missing? Oh… hey Chained up Woman, pop out your right titty. Perfect! And ACTION!

We’re not trying to tell you or anybody that ‘Never Surrender’ is a good movie because it most certainly is not, but it is consistently amusing in some form or another and manages to be sporadically entertaining. Move over Don ‘The Dragon’, your heir apparent has arrived.

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