First off… before you start salivating over this Brazilian Jujitsu movie… Let me warn you. Red Belt is a drama!
Don’t expect a BJJ version of Die Hard.
There are plenty of BJJ fight scenes… in the gym, in a tournament and my personal favorite… on the street – against multiple attackers!
Arms get broken and bad guys get chocked out. Oorah!
But it’s a drama. It has dialog, a plot and a real story. That may not tun on a lot of rough and tumble Brazilian Jujitsu practitioners who rather see people getting slammed on the pavement.
I liked it. I liked it a lot. And I think you will too.
I am a little biased. I’m a big fan of the writer and director, David Mamet (he wrote one of my all time favorite plays/films — Glengarry Glen Ross). Also, I’m a big fan of Chiwetel Eliofor who plays the lead in the film.
It’s about a BJJ instructor Mike Terry (played by Chiwetel Eliofor).
Mike wants to stick to the traditional ways of teaching and BEING Jujitsu. He’s a top fighter, one of the best around but he doesn’t want to sell out.
He avoids the over-commercialization of the sport and doesn’t compete for big time money.
In fact, his own school is struggling. He’s broke. But he’s at peace with that as long as he’s pure of heart.
The story gets a lot deeper, so watch it.
There’s Plenty of Eye Candy for Martial Artists and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Enthusiasts too
A lot of the minor and major roles are played by authentic Jujitsu, martial arts and MMA celebrities. For instance you’ll see…
- Dan Inosanto (martial arts legend and one of Bruce Lee’s colleagues
- Randy Couture (MMA fighter)
- John Machado (MMA fighter)
- Enson Inoue (MMA fighter)
- Renato Magno (BJJ coach)
- Ricco Chipparelli (BJJ coach)
- Ed O’ Neil (actor – “Al Bundy” from married with children BUT a real life BJJ black belt)
Plus, David Mamet, the writer-director of Red Belt, was a purple belt when this film released. I’m surprised that Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddel and Royce Gracie were missing? If you want a good movie that has Jujitsu fight scenes in it, you’ll like Red Belt.