Jiu Jitsu (2020)

Jiu Jitsu (2020) 102min | Action, Sci-Fi | 20 November 2020 (USA) Summary: Every six years, an ancient order of jiu-jitsu fighters joins forces to battle a vicious race of alien invaders. But when a celebrated war hero goes down in defeat, the fate of the planet and mankind hangs in the balance.
Countries: USALanguages: English

Jiu Jitsu (2020): in which I find some decent parts (locations and camera work). Other parts have an aura of having been inspired by other (arguably better) works.

First of all, let me start by putting forward this hypothesis: humans are as gullible as a very gullible thing. Alright, I’ll grant you that at some point in the distant past the concept of an alien fighter teaching jiu jitsu as a sacred art form to ensure a devout fight to the death every six years might have seemed an acceptable bargain to make. But what it translates to in more modern terms looks just a bit brainwashed cultish instead.

Jiu Jitsu (2020) hits a number of key tropes. Amnesia. Cult like organisation. Alien predator visiting this planet to have fun hunting worthy humans. Running and jumping. Special martial artist powers. Tropes are ok if done well. Not all of these are.

But a few good scenes, overtones of Assassin’s Creed, and some camera work that reminded me not enough of Hardcore Henry were not enough to make this a good movie. It struggled with uneven narrative pacing, a kind of one-note hero who was just some kind of tough guy, and there was a totally unnecessary love story. You know I can’t stand totally unnecessary love stories, right? Some characters were tropes without nuance.

There were some good actors in here but they weren’t used nearly enough or in the right way. They had enough raw talent between them to make quite a solid martial arts movie and instead arguably wasted screen time pursuing a really cheap Apocalypse Now kind of washed out hero for about three quarters of the run time instead. Overall, oddly disappointing.

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