Jiu Jitsu review – a twisted hybrid of Predator and Kickboxer

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 30, 2020 (Last updated: February 9, 2024)
Jiu Jitsu review – a twisted hybrid of Predator and Kickboxer


Jiu Jitsu is an action fan’s delight, mixing Predator with Kickboxer for a modern-day fight to the death.

Jiu Jitsu is the latest action movie from director Dimitri Logothetis who breathed fresh life into the Kickboxer franchise with Kickboxer Retaliation. Starring Nicholas Cage (The Rock, Con-Air), The Purge: Anarchy’s Frank Grillo, Ong Bak’s action star Tony Jaa, the modern-day Kickboxer star Alain Moussi, Die Another Day’s Ricky Yune, and The 100’s Marie Avgeropoulos.

Jiu Jitsu starts when a fallen soldier, Jake (Moussi), being rescued in the deepest, darkest Burma and taken to an American military base who have been operating in the area. Needing to restore his memory, he has soldier Myra (Avgeropoulos) helping him out, which also sees him attract the attention of his unit of super soldiers run by Harrigan (Grillo), with Keung (Jaa), Carman (Chan), and Forbes (Crump) in, only Jake doesn’t know who to trust and a mysterious assassin is after him. Jake will learn more from an elder master, Wylie (Cage), if he is ever going to make it out alive.

Jiu Jitsu uses a story that mixes the lost identity concept that has helped many warriors learn their true calling, with what can only really be described as Predator, by putting the best soldiers or warriors against a deadly visitor from another world in a jungle — let’s face it, it is Predator. This does however bring a motivation behind the visit, blending this with cultural teaching that will make the fight seem like an honor battle through the galaxy, rather than just a hunting season.

Jiu Jitsu gives Alain Moussi another chance to impress with his combat skills, showing that he has continued to grow in the more serious side of performances too. If we are all honest, though, we did jump towards this movie for Nicolas Cage, who does everything we want without going over the top, in more of a mentor-like role, though he does get to have a big fight sequence. Tony Jaa only impresses with his action scenes, but he doesn’t get a chance to do anything away from these, while Frank Grillo also seems to fall down the order of the film, for what he could have bought to everything.

Jiu Jitsu uses a unique look for the action sequences, stepping away from the constant fast cuts, which can weaken many an action film, going with the single take pure style with Tony Jaa getting an excellent entrance with this technique. We also use the first-person perspective to show how one character sees the action and will even see them lose this and regain the angles in a transition that never feels out of place.

Jiu Jitsu is a fun action sci-fi movie, it has plenty of action that will give us different matchups versus the mysterious visitor Brax, with the world build that is left to give us more in the future and continues to put a spotlight on the rising action star Alain Moussi.

Signature Entertainment presents Jiu Jitsu on Digital HD 21st December and Blu-ray & DVD 4th January

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