Film Review: Jiu Jitsu

To say that Nicolas Cage is prolific would be a profound understatement. Since 2015 he has starred in well over twenty films. It’s almost impossible to keep up. As you’d expect with these kinds of numbers, the quality control isn’t exactly great. The once Oscar-winning actor has garnered a reputation for making bad films. More caricature than actor, at times, he seems to be phoning in ‘crazy Cage’ performances more and more. However, the prospect of seeing him face off with a space alien, as he does in Jiu Jitsu, is too good to ignore.

After being rescued by a passing Burmese fisherman, Jake (Alain Moussi) wakes up with amnesia. Having been captured and interrogated by army intelligence, he’s rescued by the mysterious Kueng (Tony Jaa). Jake discovers that he is the leader of a team, including Harrigan (Frank Grillo) and Carmen (JuJu Chan), who have dedicated their lives to becoming the best warriors on Earth in order to fight an alien. Their mentor is Wylie (Cage).

Jiu Jitsu actually starts out pretty well. There’s a brilliantly choreographed escape sequence where Jaa and Moussi get to exercise their martial arts skills. This is enhanced by Dimitri Logothetis decision to employ a variety of camera angles and techniques. However, as soon as Cage enters the arena the whole thing begins to fall apart. The action gets sloppy and repetitive. The script gets even more ridiculous. As for ‘shit Predator’, he looks like he’s walked out of the nearest fancy dress shop. It’s a shame really, as there’s enough here to have made Jiu Jitsu really good fun.

Jiu Jitsu is released on Digital HD on 21 December and Blu-ray & DVD on 4 January.

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