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This John Cena film is Netflix’s most popular movie. Here’s why you should watch it

Prior to last week, you may not have heard of Hidden Strike. And that’s understandable since it’s a Chinese and American action film that spent the last half decade gathering dust on a shelf. This movie couldn’t get an American distributor until Netflix came along, and that’s a bet that paid off for the king of the streamers. As of today, August 4, Hidden Strike is the most popular movie on Netflix.

Action icon Jackie Chan headlines the cast as “Dragon” Luo Feng, the leader of a security team in Iraq who was hired to protect an oil refinery owned by a Chinese company called Unicorp. But what Luo Feng really cares about are the people under his protection. Chris Van Horne (John Cena) is an ex-Marine who is tricked by his own brother, Henry Van Horne (Amadeus Serafini), and the duplicitous Owen Paddock (Pilou Asbaek) into attacking Luo Feng’s civilian convoy. Out of remorse, Van Horne agrees to team up with Luo Feng against a common threat so they can get the civilians home safely.

And now, we’ll share there reasons why you should watch Hidden Strike on Netflix.

The legend of Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan in Hidden Strike.

Jackie Chan has been making movies for sixty years, and appearing on camera in action roles for 50 years. He even pops up in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem as the voice of Splinter. He made his legend in Hong Kong cinema before crossing over to become a star in America as well. And while Chan’s body can’t handle the same extreme stunts and martial arts that he used to pull off, he still has a magnetic presence on the screen.

Hidden Strike wisely places Chan’s Luo Feng in the leading role even over his co-star, John Cena. Although the film’s plot is ludicrous at times, it’s easy to believe in Chan’s performance. Even within these over-the-top circumstances, Luo Feng feels like a real and compelling person.

Jackie Chan and John Cena make a good comedic duo

John Cena and Jackie Chan in Hidden Strike.

Let’s get this out of the way: Hidden Strike is no Rush Hour, and John Cena isn’t as funny or as quick-witted as Chris Tucker was in those movies. However, Cena’s comedic chops are greatly underrated and he gets the most out of his shared scenes with Chan in this movie. Cena’s Van Horne is the odd man out in Luo Feng’s team because he unintentionally shares the responsibility for the deadly problems that they are facing.

But Cena’s earnest performance gives Van Horne the audience’s sympathy, and it’s amusing to see him speak Mandarin when it’s a language that he hasn’t quite mastered. Yet the reason why Cena and Chan work well together is their characters have empathy for each other. It may even lead to more team-ups in the future.

The action is engaging

Jackie Chan and John Cena in Hidden Strike.

Beyond the duo of Cena and Chan, the thing that Hidden Strike does really well is action. That may be the biggest reason for its rise to the top of Netflix’s movie list. There’s a standout sequence early in the film where Cena’s Van Horne is duped into attacking the convoy protected by Luo Feng and it leads to some of the most visually arresting moments in the entire movie.

Chan and Cena both have plenty of action experience, and they bring their respective talents to bare for the more personal fighting scenes from hand-to-hand fistfights to intense gun battles. And isn’t that what we really want out of all of our action movies?

Watch Hidden Strike on Netflix.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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