Cage Match: Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage to fight aliens in Myanmar

Nicolas Cage via Flickr
Nicolas Cage via Flickr

Nicolas Cage, the Hollywood actor best known for his especially prolific film career, has set his sights on Myanmar for his upcoming sci-fi film, Jiu Jitsu, in which he fights aliens using the titular martial arts style.

Yes, you heard that right: Nicolas Cage, of Ghost Rider, Wicker Man and Face-Off fame, is coming to Myanmar to fight aliens using, inexplicably enough, jiu jitsu.

The upcoming movie, first reported on by Variety, is about an ancient order of expert jiu jitsu fighters who defend Earth from alien invaders every six years. It is based on the comic book of the same name by Dimitri Logothetis and Jim McGrath, who also share writing credits for the script.

“‘Jiu Jitsu’ is guaranteed to satisfy the millions of martial arts and science fiction lovers across the globe with world class martial artists, stunt men go-to expert Alain Moussi joining superstar Nicolas Cage for some formidable, no holds barred fight sequences set in exotic Burma,” Logothetis told Variety.

Uh, “exotic Burma”? Sounds like Myanmar is being turned into just another shooting location for a film that has very little to do with the country itself. In fact, given that it features an American and a Canadian using a Japanese martial art to fight invaders that aren’t even from this planet, let alone Myanmar, the odd choice of setting is perhaps the most inexplicable element of the film. (And if the preceding sentence is any indication, that’s saying something.)

The sci-fi flick is the second international film of this caliber to be set in Myanmar, after the Hong Kong-Chinese crime drama Line Walker 2, which was shot in downtown Yangon and captured the imagination of a nation with a bunch of exploding cars and complicated action sequences.

But despite any misgivings the odd subject matter may raise, a Myanmar movie producer told Eleven Media that Jiu Jitsu could have a positive impact on Myanmar’s tourism and film sectors.

“Now that Nicolas Cage, a Hollywood icon, will be coming to Myanmar to star in that film Jiu Jitsu, if this will really happen, there will be better opportunities for tourism sector of Myanmar as well as international film makers’ interest in Myanmar,” the unnamed producer said.

For those whose Cage-ucation ended with Con Air, this won’t be the bad lieutenant’s first foray into Southeast Asia. His turn as a stone-cold hitman with a heart of gold (or something — who remembers, really?) in 2008’s Bangkok Dangerous earned, shall we say, less than stellar reviews.

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