Directed by: Mike Gunther
Starring: Rudy Youngblood, Susie Abromeit, Michael Bisping, Mike Swick, Bobby Lashley, Heath Herring, Eric Balfour, and Danny Trejo
Brandon (Youngblood) is a tough street brawler whose brother Frankie is killed by gangsters. Now the gangsters are after Brandon for the 40,000 dollars his brother owed. Brandon then flees to a small Southern town where he develops a romance and also lives with his paraplegic father (Trejo). It's not long before Brandon enters the underground Punchfighting circuit where the reigning champion is Victor Dean (Balfour). It turns out the burgeoning romance is with Dean's sister Erin (Abromeit), and Victor's not happy. Brandon moves up the ranks and eventually faces off against Victor. Who will win?
The biggest problem with this movie is the editing. There are weird, unnecessary cuts, as well as puzzling camera zooms and spins. The fights are pretty brutal when you can see them, as there are plenty of blood-soaked fences (yes, fences!) to show the extreme nature of the fighting. Also quite extreme is the now-prerequisite playing of the song "Wildfire in the Streets" by Tommy Fields. Surely the makers of all these modern-day Punchfighters must have known that fans don't watch just one of these things. If you like one, you probably will like them all, and fans would notice the constant reappearance of Tommy Fields.
The plot is also haphazard, as there is a quick setup with the gangster Gino Ganz which kind of falls by the wayside until much later. All the cliches you know and love are present and accounted for - the training sequence and the silly love story, with its insipid dialogue. There's plenty of "Barnfighting", as Southern "redneck" stereotypes are beaten by Youngblood. There's, inexplicably, a TapouT octagon in the middle of a state fair in the deep south. Their tentacles reach from there to prisons everywhere, as Locked Down (2010) proves.
Youngblood is relatively likable, but as you might expect, Danny Trejo is the best actor in the movie. He seems like he doesn't care, but it could be his character.
If only the directing and editing were competent, this would be a not-bad modern-day Punchfighter. As it stands, Beatdown is not really a success.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty