If you’re interested in an action extravaganza with a meaningful plot or memorable characters, “Hidden Strikes” is bound to disappoint on all fronts. However, the best way to approach the film is to shift one’s focus to what matters — i.e. the relationship between Dragon and Chris, and the slapstick comedy that unfolds naturally when the two share the screen. What occurs in the periphery is immaterial, as this dynamic is the film’s beating heart (and only selling point), rendering its tense sociopolitics and vague attempts at conflict creation secondary. The best reason to linger around till the credits roll is the no-holds-barred action, which would have felt pretty generic if Chan wasn’t there to elevate it with stunts that still manage to impress.
Words like “Green Zone” and “Highway of Death” are thrown around to convey the urgency of the central heist, which is essentially them facing off against a string of enemies along their journey. This formula, despite being tired, works in this context as the film does not take itself too seriously, embracing the silliness amid the seriousness of the central premise. The duo’s shenanigans range from deliberate miscommunication to unintended errors, where mixed-up hand signs alternate between mission directions and an invitation to have a beer together. This tongue-in-cheek tone keeps the film consistently fun and breezy, with the action parts acting as thrilling punctuations that are worthwhile.
Check out the film’s official synopsis:
“Two ex-special forces soldiers must escort a group of civilians along Baghdad’s “Highway of Death” to the safety of the Green Zone.”
“Hidden Strike” is currently streaming on Netflix.