It takes a brave reviewer to give a movie starring both Jackie Chan and John Cena a poor rating. So if either of you gentlemen are reading this, Hidden Strike, Netflix's new number-one movie is a masterpiece of cinema.
In all seriousness, the reviews have not been kind to Hidden Strike, it currently boasts just a 17% from critics on the reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. However, it does appear to be more of a crowd pleaser with a 56% rating with audiences. That doesn't seem to have held it back though with a staggering 22 million streams already. Perhaps Chan and Cena's fans have come out in force for this July 2023 release.
So what's it all about? Cena and Chan play two ex-special forces operatives tasked with escorting civilians along Baghdad's "Highway of death". It sounds very generic but - and this is a big but, the trailer does feature a lorry suplexing another lorry. That's not an exaggeration.
Obviously, this is the kind of movie where you switch your brain off and enjoy some action and silly one-liners, so it's always going to struggle with critics, although the recent Mission Impossible movie got rave reviews.
Some of the critics' opinions have been particularly bleak. In his review for Collider Chase Hutchinson described how "Both the action and the story feel like it is just checking boxes with no real heft behind them." certainly, the CGI looks like it could be better, but that has its own charm.
While I only really know Cena from The Fast & Furious (and as Mermaid Ken in Barbie) I grew up watching Jackie Chan movies so I am always willing to give the great man the benefit of the doubt. The reviews make it sound like I should stick to the likes of Shanghai Noon but I owe Jackie the chance. With movies like this, I tend to say just get some friends over and some snacks and just have a laugh. That's what I'll be doing.