6 Underground finds Director Michael Bay at his most obnoxious, gratuitously violent, slow-mo indulgent self. But man, does he know how to make a check your brain at the door stupidly fun action movie.
It doesn’t hurt that riding shotgun with Bay on this ride is Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool 2), who’s seemingly endless charisma can carry anything when he’s in his snarky, somewhat self aware wheelhouse.
Reynolds is a CEO billionaire genius who ditched his selfish ways after being caught in the middle of a horrific tragedy. Instead of cutting another check, he decided to do something about it and recruited a group of five specialists just as devoted to his cause of taking some of the world’s worst off the playing field for good. To keep things from getting too personal, the six are only identified by their number.
One is the tech genius. Two (Mélanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds) is the no-nonsense CIA agent. Three (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, The Magnificent Seven) is a former hitman while Four (Ben Hardy, Bohemian Rhapsody) is a fearless parkour expert. Five (Adria Arjona) is the doctor and Six (Dave Franco) is the getaway driver.
If the irreverent tone and One’s snappy dialogue sounds familiar it’s due to Reynolds reuniting with Deadpool 2 screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese. 6 Underground very much captures a comic book origin story. In essence, 6 Underground is a non super-powered Deadpool film by way of Michael Bay. If that sounds intriguing, chances are you’re gonna love the film. Bay’d out? This won’t be the film to change your opinion.
Bay can’t help himself from some of his impulses and makes sure to work in some random bikini and thong shots. It’s basically to check off everything on his Bay cliche list. For a straight up action movie with enough comedic banter to feel like another installment of Bad Boys that’s not a bad thing. The final act features some pretty creative mayhem showing Bay hasn’t lost his touch no matter your opinions on his Transformer films.
More often than not the soundtrack just played like loud for the sake of loud music that didn’t necessarily complement the on-screen action especially well.
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The opening sequence features an insane high speed chase through Italy and a dizzying rapid fire introduction of the characters. In a lot of ways, it’s one of the more realistic high-octane chase sequence in decades as pedestrians get hit, debris is everywhere and cars get taken out with maximum damage. Given the lack of restraints with this Netflix original movie, Bay adds in a little extra mayhem, carnage and extreme violence just because he can.
To stock the team for its big mission in setting up a coup d’état, One recruits a new member to the team in Seven (Corey Hawkins, Straight Outta Compton), a former military sniper. Seven isn’t quite sure of One’s code and expendable mentality when it comes to the rest of the team creating some useful and necessary tension. Hawkins always comes off like a star in the making with every role.
I’d watch Laurent in anything and Two basically gives Laurent an excuse to play Black Widow, which was so much fun. Her stone cold killer demeanor made Two one of the standout characters. Garcia-Rulfo wisely plays against type in a number of his roles and this time he goes even further as the team’s comic relief. Arjona’s Five is the one underserved character as she gets minimal development or an opening origin scene.
Four is also mostly underwritten, but has some cool action scenes. While the characters might lack development equity, the cast showed strong chemistry to keep me invested in their survival for a sequel.
6 Underground is the anti-Oscar season movie. It’s all action, amusing banter in the vein of Zombieland and Deadpool and features a strong, likable cast. Netflix hasn’t done a lot of original movie sequels from its action department wing, but 6 Underground was more than fun enough to warrant a second installment.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix