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Hidden Strike (2023)

Hidden Strike (2023)




Jackie Chan

John Cena


Directed by Scott Waugh


An action movie with John Cena and Jackie Chan, and I found myself bored.

You can tell when a production started as a pipe dream with a single idea, getting John Cena and Jackie Chan together for an action film with comedic elements. Then, one day someone agreed to sponsor this pipe dream, and now the producers had to scramble up an idea, called it a script and just ran with it. This film’s biggest mistake is that it felt could be Rush Hour. Then the director added elements of Mad Max: Fury Road to the mix, which made this film just feel like a fish out of water when you consider that it is supposed to be an action/thriller with elements of comedy.

When a film introduces one of its leads in a more common-sense setup, Jackie’s character (Luo) along with his team are hired to extract someone, and they must cross the highway of death to achieve this. Then the other lead, John Cena (playing Chris) was introduced in a cartoonish way in a make-believe desert background. In this film Chris is an anti-hero discussing with his mercenary buddies about a completed job, and he was told of a new job where they must go after Luo’s extraction team and capture the person Luo is tasked to extract. Chris turns the job down because he does not want to have anything to do with the highway of Death.

Let me continue to paint the silly way Chris is introduced to us, he is in this make-believe desert hitting golf balls, when the team drives in their jeeps like rats being chased by a cat. Then we see him next playing ball with a boy in the town he has chosen to live in. We the dumb folks watching this, are supposed to see this ball playing as a depiction of Chris being a good guy in bad situations. How is playing ball the only thing these writers think is needed to establish a character as a good guy.

The town does not have water, so he speaks with one of his contacts (another fellow mercenary) who tells him that to get the water turned back on he will need to pay $100,000. So, you can guess where the film is going from here, Chris agreed to do the job so he can get the money he needs so that the town will not die of thirst. Another idea the writers think will establish the good guy persona, forgetting that he also lives there, so lack of water also affects him, even if we are to believe he can decided to move away.

Well, things do not go according to plan as you would have expected, and we are bathed in a Mad Max: Fury Road chase, that led to Chris walking away from his group and running into Luo and both knew each other from their special force days. They fight and later team up.

It is B-film action sequence 101, no attempt to take this big budget film up a notch and make it even better than other B-films in the same category which it has decided to stay in.


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