“Hey mum – can we get MORTAL KOMBAT?”
“We have MORTAL KOMBAT at home.”
The MORTAL KOMBAT at home? That’s JIU JITSU.
Every six years, an ancient order of expert Jiu Jitsu fighters are required to face off against a race of alien invaders in a battle to save the Earth from enslavement. For thousands of years, the invaders have failed to win the tournament until now. With Jake Barnes (Alain Moussi) suffering from amnesia after a pre-emptive strike by hybrid Daft Punk/ Hirogen alien leader Brax (Ryan Tarran), it’s down to grizzled veteran Jiu Jitsu warrior Wylie (Nicolas Cage) to rally the team and prepare for Brax’s coming onslaught.
Derivative to the point of parody, JIU JITSU starts in incomprehensible, disjointed fashion and just keeps on trucking from there. At times seemingly just an arbitrarily spliced together sequence of overchoreographed fight scenes interspersed with awful, risible dialogue, it has all the narrative coherence of a side-scrolling beat-‘em-up with the dramatic élan f a middling episode of MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS.
Utterly humorous, JIU JITSU takes itself far, far too seriously and the need for decent special effects and a credible script far, far too lightly. Director Dimitri Logothetis aims to keep the audience from registering the poorest blood spatter effects ever brought to screen with incessantly restless camerawork and a spectacularly misjudged overuse of Snorricam to put us in the middle of the action. Had he not been so preoccupied with ensuring his audience would be fighting off motion sickness, he might have had time to ensure his cast were at least aligned as to what movie they were in because most of them seem to act like they’re in different movies even when sharing scenes together.
The final weakness of evil alien warlord Brax is so laughably simple and ubiquitous it strains the already at breaking point credulity of the film’s suggestion that this alien has somehow posed a threat that humanity was unable to overcome for thousands of years, delivering a stupid ending to a grindingly tedious Chopsocky knock-off.