The world can be falling apart and I’ll remember Nicolas Cage’s beautiful, sly grin and all will be well. A true gem to behold, I still stand by what I’ve said so many times before: Nicolas Cage is one of my favorite actors, if not one of the best. Not only can you feel how much he loves his job, you can see he brings a charisma to every role he plays, even if lately he’s been type-casted solely as ‘Nicolas Cage losing his mind‘ instead of a series of varied performances. No complaints there. None at all. But, his third (or fourth) resurgence of great Cage flicks is an absolute joy.
So, closing out 2020 with a Nicolas Cage vs. Alien martial arts film? Oh yeah. Jiu Jitsu? I’m all for it. I need it. Give it to me. All the punches. All the kicks. All the swords. All the ‘predator’ vision. All the flips and injuries. All of it!
Marvel fans will be glad to see Frank Grillo, everyone’s favorite Hydra punching bag, exercising his martial art skills yet again. It won’t be with Captain America this time, but we’re definitely seeing another super-soldier with some crazy gadgets, an awesome costume, and a samurai sword to boot.
In the trailer, we learn that the alien creature arrives every 6 years in search of an honorable, challenging fight. If it doesn’t get it, it’ll go on a killing rampage (probably to find the right warrior. Very Dragon Ball-esque). Frankly, that doesn’t matter. This is the kind of movie that is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. And in this journey, a band of jiu jitsu warriors are trained to fend off this alien humanoid.
It’s Predator. The movie is basically Predator. Or, at least, the thing we always talk about in Predator, because Predator is a lot of things (war film, slasher film, ninja-warrior film). But Jiu Jitsu is Predator, and that’s not bad at all. The entire Predator franchise has basically been remaking Predator anyway (and they’ve all been kind of terrible, although Predators is pretty neat), so I’m not going to complain when someone else takes Predator, makes it a martial arts film, casts Nicolas Cage as a warrior-sage, and gives us a platform for martial artists to go wild showing off their sick moves.
Are we going to get some ground-breaking narrative? Is Jiu Jitsu going to solve race relations in America? Is Jiu Jitsu the first trumpet call of the second coming? Maybe. Maybe not. Who can say? Sometimes it’s easy to discard projects that seem vapid or listless (you can practically hear me do this with the Monster Hunter trailer), especially as we survive the year of our Lord 2020, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good romp every now and then.
I don’t often attribute excitement to my hot-blooded, testosterone filled male body, but how can one watch the Jiu Jitsu trailer and not go, “Aww yeah! This is hype!”. Heck, I’ll even go one more: How can people watch this trailer and not call up their buddies and say, “November 20th, my place. Bring beer, wings, chips, and all the nasty snacks you can afford. We’re watching Jiu Jitsu, baby!”
That’s to hoping it’s a PVOD release, which is very likely considering the current state of movie theaters. Regal and Cinemark are closed, along with independent theaters (that probably wouldn’t show Jiu Jitsu in the first place), which puts roughly half the screens in the United States out of commission. Paramount is probably more interested in people like me who will call up their buds to rent the film on VUDU or Prime and have a good time. And in 2020? I’m pining for good times.
Description: An ancient order of expert Jiu Jitsu fighters face fearsome alien invaders in a battle for Earth every six years.
Director: Dimitri Logothetis
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Marie Avgeropoulos, Frank Grillo, Tony Jaa, Rick Yune, JuJu Chan, Alain Moussi, and James P. Bennett
Rating: R (violence throughout)
Release Date: November 20th
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Melvin Benson is the Founder, Editor-In-Chief, and Lead Host of Cinematic Doctrine. He’s written fiction and nonfiction for over a decade with short stories featured on the Creepypasta Wiki and Wattpad. His novelette Ethereal Temptation, a teen drama with a tinge of magical-realism, can be read for free here. His hope is to see King Jesus glorified as far as the east is from the west!