Film Review – Jiu Jitsu (2020)

Martial arts action with legend Tony Jaa, pop culture favourite Nicolas Cage and reliable Frank Grillo, involving an advanced interstellar warrior opposing a group of mercenaries eventually led by Jake (Alain Moussi) although suffering from amnesia, he’s still able to roundhouse kick or take down individuals with a flick of the wrist.

All sounds good on paper, well….it’s OK.

Known as Brax, the fired-up E.T enters through a Burmese temple portal every six years looking to start a fight club or it will destroy earth, a scenario that sets up modest tributes to Mortal Kombat and Highlander, whilst more solidly referencing, Predator.

There are definitely a few inspired moments during the independent production.

Most of fighting is practical, athletic French Canadian Moussi, an established stunt man on numerous projects, is amicable when trying to figure out who he is, amidst contending with aggressive comrades and a brawling alien Jake initially refuses to challenge.

Zipped up inside the creature suit is my fellow Australian, stunt extraordinaire, Ryan Tarran (Aquaman)

Oscar winner, irrepressible Nicolas Cage, as old man Wylie, plodding by for some wisdom in the ancient art of skirmish adds a touch of humour during his limited screen time. Cage seems to be enjoying himself waving a stick around, offering advice to young gun Jake.

Aforementioned Jaa (Ong Bak) and Grillo (The Grey) are value in action mode, former Bond villain, Rick Yune (Die Another Day) a welcomed addition, as is extremely fly, Marie Avgeropoulos (Numb).

Although time, effort, exertion has obviously been to put in with minimal budget on hand, Jiu Jitsu, befits die hard martial arts enthusiasts or, Cage completists only.

★ 1/2


Action, Fantasy | USA, 2020 | 15 | DVD, Digital HD | 4th January 2020 (UK) | Signature Entertainment | Dir.Dimitri Logothetis | Alain Moussi, Nicolas Cage, Raymond Pinharry, Frank Grillo, Tony Jaa, JuJu Chan

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