Updated: Jan 9
Directed by: #MichaelBay
6 Underground is a 2019 American action spectacular directed by Michael Bay and stars Deadpool's Ryan Reynolds.
After witnessing the terrors of a cruel regime in the Middle Eastern state of Turgistan, an unnamed and enigmatic American billionaire feigns his death to establish an underground vigilante team. Referred to as "One", he recruits five other individuals to join his cause as "ghosts". Their mission? To take down dictators and terrorists that other governments won't touch.
With a supposed budget of $150 million, 6 Underground can be compared to that of Netflix's tentpole Bright. The latter managed to crash through the devastating reviews and become an instant smash hit. The streaming giant hoped to pull off a similar but expensive gamble with 6 Underground. Critical acclaim isn't necessary for action films to succeed, especially in the age of streaming services.
It's not hard to distinguish 6 Underground as a Michael Bay movie. His unique visual style goes hand in hand with disconnected editing, female objectivation and intense violence. The chaotic car-chase opening scene and distracting flashbacks didn't make for a good first impression, the insanity of the whole ordeal being enough to render speechlessness. It was hard to focus while watching innocent civilians being mowed down as the 'good guys' escaped from the baddies. 6 Underground masquerades itself as somewhat anti-war but ultimately feels like a justification for interventionism. It's vaguely implied that to liberate the oppressed, more suffering has to be endured.
"One" offers yet another unique anti-hero role for Reynolds, following the success of the Marvel vehicle Deadpool. Although Reynolds is fun to watch; we don't learn much about his character as the film develops. The rest of the squad offer generic and loose stories, making it easy to forget about them. You may as well call them 'Parkour Dude' or 'Spy Lady'. The Bay Method is to rush the audience into yet another excessively violent action sequence rather than to develop his characters as the movie progresses.
The lacking characterisation and flat dialogue are made up for through goofiness, a sense of humour and nonsensical excitement. Featuring swearing nuns, Trump jokes, and Spice Girls' 'Wannabe', 6 Underground can be summarised as Bayhem and Fast & Furious on steroids. If you enjoy being battered by endless explosions, gore and fast cars, then this is the film for you.