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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real messages here other than conflict/fighting. Characters do more or less stand up to impossible odds, even if it ultimately feels silly and meaningless.
Positive Role Models
Several main characters are trained warriors who go headlong into battle to protect humanity. They don't exactly behave nobly; they're more full of swagger and bravado. A Black character is shown as a somewhat comical coward (although he does provide one of the final pieces necessary to defeat the villain).
Violence & Scariness
Heavy, over-the-top martial arts fighting. Guns and shooting. Bloody wounds. Blood sprays (via fake-looking digital effects). Stabbing with blades and swords. Neck slicing. Alien burns people. Woman hit by throwing star. Grenade explosion. Deaths.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirting -- i.e., telling eye contact as a woman helps a man adjust his armor.
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Use of "s--t," "bulls--t," "son of a bitch," "ass," "hell," "crap," "stupid," and "shut up," plus exclamatory use of "oh my God," "Jesus." Middle-finger gestures.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking. Someone asks, "Who wants a drink?"
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jiu Jitsu is an action movie starring Nicolas Cage about a group of warriors who must defeat an alien that emerges from a space portal. Violence is fantastical/comic-book style but pretty graphic, with martial arts fighting, guns and shooting, stabbing and slicing, blood sprays/bloody wounds, and explosions. Some characters die, and the alien seems to be able to burn people with his touch. Language includes "s--t," "bulls--t," "son of a bitch," "ass," and more. Cage's character smokes cigarettes in more than one scene, and a character asks, "Who wants a drink?" Sex isn't an issue, but a woman appears to be flirting with a man while she adjusts his battle armor. It's all pretty silly, with some frankly nauseating action scenes, but it might be fun enough to win over certain "so bad, it's good" movie fans. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With its preposterous story, bizarre action sequences, and performances in wildly varying pitches, this action movie is, at best, a candidate for so-bad-it's-good status. To start, the alien villain in Jiu Jitsu just doesn't make any sense. If he's beaten every six years, why does he keep coming back? Not to mention that the alien himself is just a guy in a suit with a mask-screen that plays different images. He's not particularly scary or even interesting. Then, the amnesia idea makes not the slightest bit of difference in the story. There's no reason for Jake to have lost his memory other than perhaps to stretch a five-minute idea into a longer movie.
Director Dimitri Logothetis, who seems intent on making Jiu Jitsu into a new franchise, films the action sequences with a nauseating skip-frame technique that makes everything seem twitchy, like a strobe effect. And the action switches randomly back and forth from slo-mo to regular time, which somehow makes things even less exciting. Even worse, the cameras are sometimes mounted on the actors, making for an even more disorienting sensation. The performances range from emotionless and muted to barking and shouting, but none can match Cage, who these days seems to be cast in movies just so he can provide another of his trademark "unhinged" characters. At least he seems to be having fun. He may be the only one.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.