The film that would have brought action legends Jackie Chan and Sylvester Stalone together, Hidden Strike, is storming the Netflix charts this week. When Stalone backed out, John Cena stepped in. It may be a critical disaster, but it seems to have got its groove on despite very little pre-release promotion.
The Chinese-American action-comedy film is directed and edited by Scott Waugh and based on a story written by Arash Amel. Upon its release, Hidden Strike swiftly climbed the charts and became the number-one movie on Netflix globally. Who would’ve thought Chan and Chena would make for a winning on-screen duo? The film is carried by the charismatic duo’s on-screen chemistry.
Hidden Strike follows the story of “Dragon” Luo Feng, portrayed by Chan, an ex-special forces soldier. He leads his private security company in evacuating Chinese-owned oil refinery civilian employees in Iraq, after it gets attacked by mercenaries led by Owen Paddock (played by Pilou Asbaek). The mercenaries’ objective is to kidnap a scientist named Professor Cheng, whose expertise they need to reactivate the refinery and steal its oil resources to sell on the black market.
Enter Cena as Chris Van Horne, a former US Marine who reluctantly joins his mercenary brother Henry (Amadeus Serafini) in attacking the convoy, hoping to earn money to fix a well in a rural village. As the plot thickens, Van Horne discovers the truth behind the attack and decides to thwart Paddock’s plans. Along the journey filled with sandstorms, chases, and confrontations, Luo and Van Horne bond, fighting off their enemies and bromancing. The film combines heart-pounding action with comedic moments, typical of Chan’s signature style.
Speaking to Collider in 2020, Cena had mentioned that Chan was the reason he readily hopped onto the project, “Usually I say I have to read a project to be riveted by it. That is one name where if it’s like, ‘Hey, Jackie wants to do this,’ I’m sold. It’s that effective. He’s this barrel of fucking wisdom and he is trying to give it away and it’s awesome. He’s just awesome to be around.”
While the film is being released in some places as Project X-Traction, on Netflix you can find it as Hidden Strike.