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Movies & TV

05th Aug 2023

Action blockbuster that was delayed for five years becomes surprise Netflix hit

Stephen Porzio

Hidden Strike

It features two bonafide action stars in the lead roles.

Hidden Strike, a blockbuster movie that sat on a shelf for nearly five years, has become a surprise hit after finally securing a release via Netflix.

Directed by Scott Waugh (Need for Speed, the upcoming Expend4bles) and costing a reported $80 million to make, the film features two bonafide action stars in Jackie Chan and John Cena.

The plot synopsis for Hidden Strike from the streaming service reads:

“When a group of international rebels target a massive oil refinery in Iraq, a private Chinese security team led by Commander Luo (Chan) volunteers to escort nearly 500 civilians to safety in Iraq’s Green Zone. To get there, they must travel via bus along one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

“On the way, they’re attacked by a team of mercenaries, including decorated US veteran Chris (Cena). Initially reluctant to take on the job, Chris accepts the offer after finding out the exorbitant cost of restoring water to the Iraqi village where he lives.

“As Luo and Chris find out who’s really behind the oil refinery heist, the two join forces to save lives… and kick ass.”

Previously titled Ex-Baghdad, Project X, Project X-Traction and SNAFU, Hidden Strike was filmed in 2018 in China with the help of Chinese production companies – with Cena stepping in to replace the initially cast Sylvester Stallone.

After shooting was completed though, years passed but no footage or release date for the movie was released – leading many to wonder if the film would ever see the light of day.

As for the potential reasons for the delay, some have cited Covid-19, turbulent China/US trade relations and an incident from 2021 in which Cena referred to Taiwan as “a country”.

This statement proved controversial in China as it considers Taiwan to be part of its territory. Cena later apologised for his “mistake”.

Just last week, however, Hidden Strike landed on Netflix in the US, the UK, Ireland and various other countries.

And though the movie was not well-reviewed – it currently holds a 22% score on Rotten Tomatoes – it topped the streamer’s Global Top 10 film list with 22 million views.

You can check out the trailer for Hidden Strike right here:

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