Even the most casual of film viewers know that Nicolas Cage’s name is no longer a good sign of quality on a marquee.
Yet, his brand and his over-the-top nature are usually enough to warrant an ironic watch of the B-to-D-grade movies he”s in these days.
But with Jiu Jitsu, the movie literally falls in around him, and for once, he’s the most serious part of the proceedings.
The plot is about as ridiculous in execution as it can be — Every six years, a group of jiu-jitsu warriors must fight against earth invaders. When their leader is injured and suffers memory loss, they must help him so he can battle and save the planet.
Director Dimitri Logothetis is known for low-level action fare like this, but this one really is astoundingly bad. With fight scenes where you can quite literally tell the punches are fake, sound effects that don’t match what’s happening onscreen, and a nonsensical story, this is a filmmaking travesty.
Cage, who goes kooky in his roles constantly, is actually cool here. But he looks like the only one having fun as action stars like Frank Grillo and Tony Jaa suffer through this one.
It is an undeniably terrible film, but you can tell it’s unintentional. This isn’t so bad it’s good, it’s just terrible filmmaking on every level, and with a cast that’s been better in all kinds of other films, it’s a sad state of affairs to catch them in this.