Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: Two ex-special forces soldiers must escort a group of civilians along Baghdad’s “Highway of Death” to the safety of the Green Zone.
Score: 4.5 out of 10
Alright I’m just kidding, but the above basically sums up my thoughts on the JC/JC action flick with the 80’s inspired title.
It’s hard to find the energy for this one but here goes. A badass dude (Jackie Chan) leads a team to evacuate some scientists from some CGI facility in the middle of the CGI desert. Another badass dude (John Cena) is hired by a bunch of mercs who look like rejected Call of Duty avatars to kidnap one of the scientists to make a bomb or something (isn’t it always a bomb?). And by the rules of every 80’s action movie you’ve ever seen, they eventually team up to take out Euron Greyjoy. Sorry wrong show; I meant Owen Paddock (Pilou Asbaek).
Remember playing with action figures when you were a kid? Hidden Strike is that but with a much bigger playground (and budget). It’s the kind of mindless stupidity that fans of the Fast and Furious franchise have subconsciously decided to give a pass to. But say what you will about the F&F films, those movies star people who seem invested in the outcome and like each other. John and Jackie not only have zero chemistry, but they also seem genuinely uncomfortable with each other. Or at least Jackie does while John Cena, whose usually good for a laugh, tries his damnedest to make the cringe dialogue work. I especially get the sense Jackie Chan knows how bad this all is as his character here has a perpetual “I’m too old for this crap” look planted on his face.
The action sequences, while well shot, all feel hollow because of the massive amounts of green screen and CGI on display. And there’s even a blooper reel on the end, which is never a good sign when it comes to movies. I mean they are a staple of Jackie’s filmography, but they also tend to show up when movies are so awful the director hopes people will somehow be distracted if they show a funny “behind the scenes”. Please note studios: this never works.
Listen, I’m all for brainless fun; I’m a card-carrying member of the F&F fanbase and I never apologise for that. But when your movie is this bad, you need to embrace the suck, not pretend it doesn’t exist. Hidden Strike, (which by the way makes no sense title-wise unless you count the whole sandstorm attack that’s basically a lazy Mad Max: Fury Road rip-off), will probably appeal to fans of its lead heroes, but even they would be lying if they called this a good movie. In a year where action flicks like Extraction 2 and John Wick 4 exists, this is one movie that should’ve definitely remained hidden.
Sommer’s Score: 4.5 out of 10
What recent action flick made you want to ask for your money bad? And you can check out way better action content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge-Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes. Double Tap Baby! Read More