Jackie Chan held his end in portraying Luo Feng in Scott Waugh’s Hidden Strike, and the other end was held by John Cena. The film rode on the shoulders of those two performers, but ultimately, the superficial conflicts and the limited investments in their arcs and resolutions, laden with unnecessarily prolonged action sequences, ensured that the film couldn’t rise above its generic treatment. John Cena played Chris Van Horne and got an opportunity to act alongside the legendary Jackie Chan. The relationship between the two is reminiscent of the characters in Rush Hour, where Jackie Chan starred alongside Chris Tucker. Although it must be added that Cena is no Tucker, he manages to charm his way through the film with witty one-liners and his improvisational dialogue; some tickled me even when they ended up in the outtakes shown in the post-credit scenes. Let’s take a look at Cena’s character In Hidden Strike.
John Cena as Chris Van Horne
While Chan’s character Luo Feng was busy trying to make plans to extract the workers of the oil refinery in the Middle East, Cena’s character Chris was chilling, working with his brother Henry in a nearby village. Chris took care of the orphans in the area, while Henry came to him every now and then to help with his ‘missions.’ Hidden Strike presents us with a dystopian world, and it’s possible that Chris once worked for the American military, but he decided to stay back and help the villagers sustain themselves. He doesn’t necessarily seem patriotic. He may have witnessed the mayhem the American Army must have caused that made the area the hell it was, yet his spirit to enjoy life keeps up the morale of the other residents.
Henry came to him with a group of four other people. He believed Henry’s lie when he told him that his next mission was to attack a ‘Rebel’ convoy. The ‘Rebels’ were mercenaries and were responsible for the deaths of five of Chris’ mates. He was inclined to help Henry, but he had retired, and even though Henry tried to emotionally blackmail him by blaming him for their father’s death, Chris didn’t budge. Chris didn’t realize that Henry was working with the ‘Rebels’ and that his new crew was working for the ‘Rebels.’
Chris knew how to enjoy his life, but he didn’t turn a blind eye to the problems around him. He had refused to join Henry on his next mission, but soon he agreed because he could use the amount from the next mission to fix the village’s water supply. Keep in mind that this is a dystopian world. Water had become more precious than gold. The only trouble was that he had not agreed to work for the Rebels. He had been lied to by his own brother, and he soon found that out. After he helped Henry and the crew kidnap Professor Cheng, who ran the oil refinery, he questioned who he was working for. Henry had told him that the convoy was escorting the mercenaries who had killed Chris’ friends, but they had kidnapped a middle-aged Chinese woman.
As it turned out, the crew was working for a man named Owen who had posed as a humanitarian working as a technician to fix the water supply in the village. His ultimate plan was to commit the greatest oil heist the world had ever known, which is why he had assigned the job to Henry to kidnap Cheng and a few other workers. Seeing Owen, Chris was a bit surprised, but Owen justified the kidnapping as revenge for all the years she made him toil hard without any reward. Chris had enough, and even though Henry tried to manipulate him into staying for the money, he left. Owen’s plan was to use Chris to eliminate Luo Feng, but since he left and Henry failed to stop him, Owen killed Henry.
Chris had lost his brother and didn’t even know it. It was only when Feng arrived looking for Professor Cheng that he discovered Henry’s corpse. Feng and Chris had a common enemy now, and they were not going to stop before they put an end to Owen’s heist. Chris and Feng bonded while the challenges coming their way grew in difficulty. It became necessary that they look out for each other, and that’s exactly what they did. Meanwhile, given Chris’ happy-go-lucky behavior, he managed to grow attracted to Feng’s daughter, Mei. His gratitude for life brushed off on Feng as well, who transformed him as a person.
After Chris and Feng took care of Owen’s crew, they went after him. A chase began, and for a moment, it looked like Owen would get away when Chris fell off a cliff. Feng and Mei were hanging on for dear life, and it was only by sheer luck that Owen’s vehicle slid off, and he, too, fell off the cliff. Chris’ death was being mourned by Feng, but suddenly he emerged out of nowhere. He was hanging on the cliff and with Feng’s help, climbed up to safety. It suited Chris to return to surprise everybody, as even in the most desperate times, he always put a smile on everyone’s face. When he returned to the village, he did the same for the villagers. He brought their happiness back by fixing the water supply with Mei and Feng’s help. Chris’ attitude reminded everyone that no matter how difficult the situation got, one could always help one another for a good cause and overcome any challenge life throws at them, even in a dystopian world.