Hidden Strike Review – a buddy action comedy that lacks thrills and laughs

By Marc Miller
Published: July 29, 2023 (Last updated: August 2, 2023)
2023 Netflix film Hidden Strike Review


Hidden Strike is a grotesque-looking CGI action experience lacking thrills, laughs, and everything else.

Here is our review of the 2023 Netflix film Hidden Strike, which does not contain significant spoilers.

Hidden Strike may have the most grotesque use of computer-generated special effects the world has ever seen.

The film’s first half is reminiscent of a Saturday morning television program that comes across as a live-action/cartoon hybrid. Scott Waugh’s action picture (and scribe Arash Amel should be able to walk away easily here) lacks so much grit that the experience feels plastic and sterile.

This action-buddy comedy lacks thrills, laughs, and almost everything in between.

Hidden Strike Review and Plot Summary

The story follows two ex-special forces soldiers. One is Loug Feng (Jackie Chan), a Chinese agent who is sent to escort a scientist and her team from an oil refinery in the Middle East.

The mission is not just professional for Feng but personal since his estranged daughter, Mei, is part of a team, and she blames him for abandoning her mother.

Feng and his team must escape through a treacherous road known as the highway of death. The other ex-mercenary, Chris Van Horne (John Cena), lives in a small village in desperate need of water.

To get it, he agrees to take on a job with his brother, Henry, that will give him the money to fix the village’s access to their water supply.

My chief issue with Hidden Strike, besides the above manipulative back story of the lead characters, is the script sacrifices what makes both lead performers and most of what makes a Jackie Chan comedy so unique in the first place. Both Chan and Cena are charming comedic action performers.

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Yet, this is absent through the first two acts and force-fed in the final thirty minutes.

Also, it may be a sign of age, but Chan’s trademark Fred Astaire ability to perform graceful action stunts falls flat here. (The armory fight scene lacks particular action and comedic zip.) You won’t see any alley jumping or fighting in and out of a shopping cart (Rumble in the Bronx), a hot air balloon skydive (Armour of God), or a snowboarding helicopter jump (Police Story 4: First Strike).

CGI special effects drench Hidden Strike, giving the experience a cartoonish feel. There are some decent hand-to-hand combat scenes between the stars. Chan’s multiple-storey fight scene on a narrow oil pipe is a highlight for a man pushing 70 years of age.

However, most are underwhelming, and the heavy special effects do not enhance the ones aimed to please.

Is Hidden Strike good or bad?

Hidden Strike is a bad action film. And that cannot be contained to just the dull action scenes. When the computerized stunts die down, you realize how flimsy the story is.

From the manipulating back levels to what makes the leads tick to the clichéd story behind the villain’s plan, nothing is surprising or that thrilling if you have watched a couple of dozen of these sorts of action pictures.

Is Hidden Strike worth watching?

Hidden Strike is only worth watching if you are a diehard fan of Chan or Cena. Besides the “soapy suds” scene near the end, the film lacks creativity.

If this movie is a hidden gem, from Pilou Asbæk’s one-note villain to the animated video game sequence finale, let’s leave it buried.

What did you think of the 2023 Netflix film Hidden Strike? Comment below.

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