Hidden Strike is a 2023 action-comedy film directed by Scott Waugh and starring Jackie Chan and John Cena in action roles.
If you are a fan of Jackie Chan, this movie promises to entertain you, and give you the “Chaken Chan” feeling gotten from earlier movies by the Chinese movie maker. If you’re a fan of John Cena, get ready for that brick-breaking muscle power on display – with a hint of dry jokes. Who doesn’t like dry jokes?
Hidden Strike tells the story of a team of Chinese military – led by Luo Feng (Jackie Chan) – who tries to evacuate some civilians from a Chinese refinery in the Middle East. The team had to go through the “Highway of Death” where they were attacked by a group or mercenaries led by Chris Van Horne (John Cena).
To avoid spilling spoilers, I’ll stop here.
The plot isn’t anything you haven’t seen before, and definitely not something unforgettable. However, the delivery, accompanied with the comedy and action sequence, makes it a fun watch.
Oh! Don’t miss the bloopers.
Action and performance
The movie exhibits Jackie Chan’s signature comedic fight sequences and fist combat, which is well choreographed. It also features John Cena’s macho-action battles and gun-weilding scenes. The fight scene with Luo and Knox in the soap-filled scene is both cringy and fun. Kindly replace the meaning of the word ‘soapy’ with that scene.
The antagonist seems too simple. One thing that’s noteworthy is that the movie took a turn from portraying America as the good guy, to being the bad guy – an unworthy adversary, I’d say. But, hell, it was fun watching that cliff fall.
Cinematography is one of the strong points for Hidden Strike. The use of wide angle and sweeping pans, especially in the desert scenes, gives it a feel of grandeur. The use of CGI and visual effects complements the scenes well, but not without its flaws. Some of the scenes look a little unreal, especially due to the dullness of the colour and lack of reconciliation of the back with the foreground. A little less CGI, please, Mr Waugh.
Screenplay and dialogue
The dialogues were not so bad. The conversation between Luo and Chris started off a little watery and distant, until the middle of the movie, when they seem to have grown a little chemistry. The dry jokes make the movie even more fun to watch – if you have a sense of humour, that is. However, if you’re stoic and block, lighten up, please.
By the way, the prologue was bleh! The dialogues try so hard to blend into the main plot, but that’s just all they were – tries. The attempt at creating emotions with the father-daughter scenes were somewhat erm…Just enjoy the action sequences.
Watch the movie and ignore the music, its not an opera, and Hans Zimmer didn’t write the music, so, move on.
Conclusion and personal opinion
Hidden Strike is fun to watch. It might not be a great movie, or some Christopher Nolan production, but coming off the ridiculous movies Jackie Chan has featured in in recent times, this movie reminds of who Jackie really is behind the cameras – an entertaining actor who has not lost his vibe to age.
If you’re looking for a thought-provoking movie, click next, but if you want to be entertained, press play.
Personal rating – 3.0/5