In Never Back Down, I don't understand the relationship between Max Cooperman and Ryan McCarthy.

At the beginning of the film scene they appear to be on good terms

  • Ryan is observing the fight Jake interrupts
  • Max and Ryan are very friendly at the party

However later in the film he becomes friends with Jake and the rivalry develops

  • He sees (and presumably knows) Ryan beat up Jake in the bathroom
  • He's aware of the rivalry and Ryan's determination
  • He knows of the friction with Baja/Ryan/Jake

Knowing this why would he agree to join Ryan at his house (leading to his hospitalisation)? It he being naive or is this simply being used to tell the story?


Max invites Jake to come and learn mixed martial arts with his instructor, while Baja invites Jake to a party at her boyfriend Ryan McCarthy's mansion and they were friends. However, Baja faced Ryan and breaks up with him on account that he beat Jake up.

In his anger, he grabs Baja's arm and refuses to let go, even after she pleads. Jake appears and attempts to stop it, only to which Ryan insults his late father, saying "You're weak...like your old man...was". This insult has a negative impact on Jake's training that creates the vengeance throughout the movie.But eventually, Jake has won the respect of all his fellow students, up to and including Ryan and they become friends again..Of course,they were friends in Never Back Down. I think it definitely wouldn't be naive.!!

  • I understand that Jake and Ryan become rivals then potentially friends towards the end. What I don't understand is why Max would get in the car with Ryan given he knew of the rivalry and Ryan's ruthlessness. – Liath Feb 15 '12 at 10:40

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