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Hidden Strike is the biggest Netflix movie in the world right now despite terrible reviews

Published Aug 3rd, 2023 3:08PM EDT
Hidden Strike on Netflix

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The biggest Netflix movie in the world right now is a 5-year-old action comedy that barely made any money during its limited theatrical run, the title of which was also changed half a dozen times and which is also racking up some pretty terrible reviews from critics and viewers. Nevertheless, Hidden Strike is beating out all other comers at the moment no doubt thanks to the presence of its two bankable leads (Jackie Chan and John Cena).

According to the streamer’s latest weekly Top 10 movies chart, Hidden Strike racked up 22 million views — making it the most-watched Netflix movie globally this week. As such, this acquired title is also currently beating out Netflix originals like They Cloned Tyrone, Happiness for Beginners, and Extraction 2.

The plot, such as it is, involves a former US Marine portrayed by Cena as well as an ex-special forces solider played by Chan teaming up and enjoying a bit of a bromance as they help protect the employees of an oil refinery in Iraq.

That Hidden Strike managed to rocket all the way to #1 on Netflix, by the way, is reminiscent of other occasions recently when we’ve seen this same thing — that is, when a movie that both critics and fans think is garbage manages to nevertheless achieve the same feat. Another example of this was the new-ish Netflix original movie The Out-Laws likewise grabbing the top spot on the streamer, despite tepid reviews for a story in which Pierce Brosnan and Ellen Barkin play in-laws as well as suspected bank robbers.

“This is an extremely stupid and uninteresting movie,” one Rotten Tomatoes viewer wrote on the site about the new movie from Chan and Cena. Added another about Hidden Strike: “Just plain ole boring. Fell asleep three times during the first 40 minutes. John Cena is the best actor in the film. What does THAT say?

If nothing else, consider this as yet another friendly reminder that seeing a Netflix movie in the app with a large #1 next to its thumbnail does not necessarily mean what you think it does. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is more a reflection of recency — of tons of Netflix subscribers basically taste-testing something that they see is new — rather than a reflection of the quality of that new thing.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.