Jiu Jitsu fails to draw on a rare mixture that should have made it brilliant as if resigned to its fate as a B-movie with a talented cast. And, thanks to Nicolas Cage’s presence, it’s almost on the verge of becoming a cult classic. Cage’s Yoda-like performance is entertaining, but it goes unused in a sci-fi/martial arts showdown that lacks originality. You should still watch it though.
We crash land in an unspecified jungle and rush to help a guy (Alain Moussi) who is wearing an ill-fitting cape. He’s fleeing while being pursued by flying ninja stars that also spark electricity. The character seems to be more than capable of avoiding these obnoxious objects simply by running and jumping around them. He also doesn’t seem to be in a hurry.
CAGE PROVIDES PLENTY OF SLIGHTLY CRINGE-WORTHY GOOFY ENTERTAINMENT IN JIU JITSU.
He plays Wylie, a hippie mentor with a quarterstaff, but there are times when it feels like he was handed a script for a different kind of film. He has the unenviable task of providing context, but the National Treasure star is ultimately a sideshow. Wylie creates funny, ironic moments with a Willie Nelson headband and an easygoing demeanor that strike a perfect balance between the more befuddling parts of the film.
Cage also has two battle scenes in which he is said to have done “80%” of his own stunts (he is a true black belt in jiu jitsu under Royce Gracie). The star isn’t the main character in this film. That is the film’s fatal flaw. Alain Moussi, the actor/martial artist from the Kickboxer reboots, stars in it (also helmed by Logothetis). Moussi’s performance, despite being a physical heavyweight whose real-life martial arts chops translate well on film, can best be characterized as rigid.
The Jiu Jitsu Sci-Fi Film Has A Mythology With Potential But Instead is Illogical.
The premise is based on the fact that jiu jitsu has no known origins, leading to a “Maybe it was aliens” scenario straight out of the History Channel. The outcome is a lower-stakes Mortal Kombat, with a one-on-one battle against an alien seeking everlasting rivalry instead of a tourney.
Every six years, a comet passes by Earth, opening a gateway in a temple off the coast of Burma, through which an alien named Brax passes. This region, known as the Valley of the Temples, becomes a battleground as Brax faces nine fighters who have come from light-years away to put the martial art to the test.
Brax met nine warriors and taught them jiu-jitsu during his first incursion over 2,000 years ago. These were the first masters, and they would pass on their experience to the next generation. Jake is a member of this party, and despite his memory loss, he joins Nicolas Cage’s (Wylie), Frank Grillo’s Harrigan, and JuJu Chan’s Carmen to carry out a scheme he devised before being damaged while escaping the alien.
Here is a list of 5 reason as to why it is so bad in our opinion
- False Advertising
- Over the top Choreography
- Special FX
- Character Amnesia Trope
- More False advertising
Let’s start with false advertising. It is called Jiu Jitsu. This is a self-defense martial art and combat sport based on grappling, ground fighting (ne-waza) and submission holds. Uhm, Do we need to explain more? The director made a statement that shows his unfortunate choice:
I didn’t want to be stuck in kung fu. I didn’t want to be stuck in Muay Thai. The team that I put together are all authentic martial artists, including Nic Cage, who’s a wonderful actor and embraces the genre, and really sells the story. You have to have that in martial arts. You see the expertise and the athleticism. And here that isn’t barred by any specific martial art.Dimitri Logothetis, Via Nerdist about Jiu Jitsu
Despite the fact that Cage and Ong Bak martial arts legend Tony Jaa is prominently featured in the marketing materials, Cage and Jaa aren’t the main characters of the movie. In fact, they’re hardly featured at all. You want your movie to stand out, and what better way to do it than to make your action scenes as unforgettable as possible? Well, it’s not switching from a first-person perspective to a third-person viewpoint in the middle of an action scene with no cuts or reason. That kind of camera movement around choreography is so badly done one has to wonder what “enhancements” were taken on set.
The visual effects budget is visible on screen in Jiu Jitsu (along with the fake locations that double for Myanmar), but the studios obviously choose quantity over consistent quality. Often amnesia stories don’t use it as a justification to have characters say, “I don’t recall,” or “you really don’t remember?” over and over again.
Cast List For Jiu Jitsu Film
- Alain Moussi as Jake Barnes
- Frank Grillo as Harrigan
- JuJu Chan as Carmen
- Tony Jaa as Keung
- Nicolas Cage as Wylie
- Rick Yune as Captain Sand
- Marie Avgeropoulos as Myra