The Hilariously Weird Nicolas Cage Sci-Fi Martial Arts Movie On Netflix

By Steven Nelson | Published

Ah, the ever-enigmatic and wonderfully unpredictable Nicolas Cage. Just when you think you’ve pinned down his cinematic trajectory, he veers into another audacious role, adding yet another layer to his extensive and eclectic filmography. In Jiu Jitsu, now streaming on Netflix, Cage plunges headfirst into the realms of sci-fi martial arts, blending action-packed sequences with elements of fantasy. 

For fans familiar with Cage’s knack for picking roles that are anything but ordinary, this film promises to be a roller coaster of kicks, flips, and quintessential Nicolas Cage moments. Say what you want, but the guy fills up the screen no matter how silly the premise.

In Jiu Jitsu, Nicolas Cage is a member of a group fighters facing off against an alien invader

Jiu Jitsu is not your everyday martial arts movie. Set against a backdrop of an ancient order of Jiu Jitsu fighters facing off against an alien invader, the film ties its combat choreography to a wild and otherworldly narrative.

At the core of the story is Jake Barnes (Alain Moussi), a celebrated Jiu Jitsu fighter who suffers from amnesia after a battle with the extraterrestrial foe. Every six years, a portal opens (you read that right), allowing this alien warrior from another world to enter Earth. Its purpose? To fight the best warriors from our planet. 

If it wins all of its battles, it will be allowed to conquer Earth until the next portal opening. But here’s the twist: Jake and his group of fighters are the last line of defense. They’re not just fighting for their lives; they’re fighting for our world’s survival.

nicolas cage

Enter Wylie, portrayed by Nicolas Cage with his usual intensity and panache. Wylie is a wise, eccentric Jiu Jitsu master who once fought the alien invader and lived to tell the tale.

He becomes a mentor to Jake, guiding him through the intricate web of their order’s history, the significance of their battles, and most importantly, how to defeat their otherworldly adversary. Nicolas Cage’s Wylie is as entertaining as he is enlightening, stealing many scenes with his quirky charisma.

The cast of Jiu Jitsu includes Nicolas Cage, Alain Moussi, and Frank Grillo

The ensemble cast joining Nicolas Cage further enriches the narrative. Frank Grillo plays Harrigan, a rugged and tactical member of the team, while Tony Jaa showcases his renowned martial arts skills as Kueng. 

Together, the team traverses treacherous terrains, from underground tunnels to dense jungles, all while battling hordes of the alien’s minions and the extraterrestrial menace itself. It’s a fusion of traditional martial arts choreography with high-concept sci-fi fantasy, all wrapped in a package only Nicolas Cage could deliver.

Critics Were Tough On Nicolas Cage And Jiu Jitsu

When it comes to critical reception, let’s just say that not every film can be a Citizen Kane. Critics had a field day with this one, with many finding it more perplexing than a Rubik’s Cube. While it promised an engaging mix of martial arts and sci-fi elements, some argued it mostly delivered a series of head-scratching decisions.

Reviews commented on the movie’s “cliché-ridden plot” and “thinly sketched characters.” There was also mention of the, shall we say, “innovative” choice to mesh ancient martial arts with space-invading aliens

Many critics felt the film didn’t know if it wanted to be an homage to vintage martial arts films, a sci-fi extravaganza, or a meme-worthy Nicolas Cage showcase. Let’s face it, anytime Cage is on screen, you can expect some wild and unpredictable moments, but Jiu Jitsu might have taken the cake – or stolen it, set it on fire, then tried to eat it while doing a backflip.

That being said, there was an audience that found it to be a guilty pleasure. Some viewers enjoyed it as a so-bad-it’s-good flick, worthy of popcorn and chuckles on a lazy weekend. In its defense, if one goes in with the right mindset and adjusted expectations, Jiu Jitsu can offer a uniquely entertaining experience. 

After all, how many movies out there combine martial arts, aliens, and Nicolas Cage wielding a sword? Not many.

nicolas cage

Nicolas Cage has always been an enigma in Hollywood. From Oscar-winning performances to roles in offbeat, borderline absurd films like Jiu Jitsu, he never ceases to surprise and entertain. It’s as if Cage has made it his personal mission to transcend traditional career trajectories, jumping with gleeful abandon from drama to comedy, and from blockbuster to B-movie. 

While Jiu Jitsu might not be remembered as one of his crowning achievements, it stands as a testament to Cage’s unwavering commitment to the eclectic and the unexpected. 

For fans and casual viewers alike, the movie serves as a reminder: In the cinematic world of Nicolas Cage, always expect the unexpected. And if aliens and martial arts are your thing, well, Netflix has just the film for you. Dive in, if you dare!