IGN describes the new Nicolas Cage film as, “An ancient order of Jiu Jitsu fighters faces a vicious race of alien invaders in an epic battle for the survival of Earth.”
The rumours surrounding the new Jiu Jitsu film with Nicolas Cage drew interest from a lot of people in the martial arts scene. No one exactly knew what to expect. But from what the trailer shows – I definitely didn’t expect that. One can see plenty of action in the trailer, containing overly powerful kicks, and sword fights, which is a part of Japanese jiu jitsu, but not the main objective of the martial art.
Grappling/ jiu-jitsu methods involve throws and joint locks as a defense for unarmed combat, which can be a lot more effective than striking (when it comes to aliens anyway, probably). The differences that reside between the Japanese and Brazilian arts are easily found; plus today’s jiu jitsu fighters are known for joint locks, chokes and causing damage to your opponent in specific intricate ways.
With jiu jitsu coming more to the forefront in recent years, and growing in popularity (especially BJJ) it’s great to see it being represented on the big screen in films like John Wick, Enola Holmes, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, to mention a few. But by actually naming the film ‘Jiu Jitsu’, you have to pull something out of the bag that shows WHY the film is called that, above everything else – surely? Fingers crossed the trailer is just a bad representation of what the film has in store. We jiu jitsu practitioners will all be fixated to see the multiple nods to jiu jitsu in the film, but I guess we will have to wait and see.
The trailer shows the film to be an action film about fighting aliens with ‘jiu jitsu’. The concept seems as though someone got high, watched a fight, then watched an action sci-fi and thought… “oh my god this would be a great idea for a film… Lets title it: ‘Jiu Jitsu’ and make it about fighting and defeating aliens with the power of jiu jitsu”, but then they got so high they forgot to add the ACTUAL jiu jitsu to the film.
Nicolas Cage says on the trailer, “the space man, he comes here looking for a fight with you, the chosen jiu jitsu”, other than that there was no obvious representation of grappling jiu jitsu that is presented within the trailer.
Like I previously noted, I sincerely hope this was just a bad representation of the film in the trailer, and that Cage pulls it out the bag. The film looks like a dystopian, distorted representation of jiu jitsu, a bit cringe overall honestly. It doesn’t look like jiu jitsu fans are too keen post-trailer release either.
Nicolas Cage has starred in many blockbuster movies, and this could be a cool concept for a film if it genuinely includes jiu jitsu (and lots of it), otherwise… why call it Jiu Jitsu?! The photo ad also looks a bit off, like a Star Wars film cover (no hate to Star Wars, by the way). I don’t have high expectations for this film, but I’m sure like every jiu jitsu practitioner – I’ll probably end up watching it just to “see what happens”. Watch the trailer below to form your own opinion.