It was one thing to find out that Nicolas Cage was in a movie called Jiu Jitsu, that was enough for me to buy the movie on Amazon Prime. It sounds just Bat shit Crazy enough to be up my alley. Then I discover that Tony Jaa’s also in this movie. I could not wait!!
Unfortunately Cage and Jaa are supporting actors in a movie designed to show what a guy named Alain Moussi can do. I don’t know if he’s doing Jiujitsu on camera but he does have a pretty awesome flip kick. He’s no Scott Adkins but we possibly caught this guy at he beginning of his b-marshal arts action movie career, but what what a way to start.
Ii is kind of string (and a little racist) that Jaa is not just staring in the movie. They asked Jaa to toned down his cinematic greatest to a 10 rather than the usual 11 so that they could add a bunch of cool camera angles, special effects and slow-motion to Americanize it. Yet still watching Tony Jaa fight is amazing.
Not much of a story but more like a series of really great action sequences that feel greatly influenced by video games more than marshal arts movies of the past (the filmmaker also seems to enjoy comics as I gathered from the all the comic book art being used to transition form scene to scene). The story has something to do with a group of warriors who must defend the planet from alien invaders but one of the warriors (played by Moussi) forgets who he is endangering the mission. The fact that this invasion happens every six years kind of reminds me of Mortal Kombat, but the game these filmmakers are trying to make seems to be a 1st person open world thing.
There are other cool people in the cast. Frank Grillo who played Crossbones in Captain America the winter soldier. I just binged watched his show Kingdom which is good. Rick Yune, who is yet another victim of Hollywood’s tendency to favor White Boys with marshal arts skills. Check out his film the 5h Commandment for proof of that. The film also stars Marrese Crump, a more handsome version of Billy Banks (the Tae Bo guy) who has faced Tony Jaa in a film with Jaa at 11 (The Protector 2). Watch that movie and tell me Hollywood has not slept on this dude’s skills.
Despite its lame story the movie is perfect. it just keeps going with so much kinetic energy that it does not stop long enough for you to complain about how weak the plot is. Worth checking out.