SYNOPSIS: What’s the best part of being dead? It isn’t escaping your boss, your ex, or even erasing your criminal record. The best part about being dead…is the freedom. The freedom to fight the injustice and evil that lurk in our world without anyone or anything to slow you down or tell you “no.” 6 Underground introduces a new kind of action hero. Six individuals from all around the globe, each the very best at what they do, have been chosen not only for their skill, but for a unique desire to delete their pasts to change the future. The team is brought together by an enigmatic leader (Ryan Reynolds), whose sole mission in life is to ensure that, while he and his fellow operatives will never be remembered, their actions damn sure will.
Just 20 minutes into Michael Bay’s first Netflix production, 6 Underground, you can basically spot all of Bay’s usual trademarks. Fast cars, frenetic editing, unnecessary slow-mo shots, excessive explosions, actors shouting their lines at the top of their voice and much more. Bay is back yet again after the dismal Transformers: The Last Knight and he is not getting any better in his craft.
Currently, one of the hottest and funniest actor to roam the earth, Ryan Reynolds stars as One, a mysterious billionaire who fake his own death to form his team of vigilantes to take down a notorious dictator, Rovach Alimov of Turgistan. Whatever political statements Bay wants to send to his audiences, it’s all drowned in pointless lame jokes and a loud soundtrack because Bay continues to make the same kind of movies even if 6 Underground has no talking robots or a pair of African-American quarrelsome cops.
Besides Reynolds, there’s French actress Melaine Laurent starring as an ex-CIA agent who is now known as Two. Although not portrayed as a sex object (ahem Megan Fox for example), she’s largely remembered for a sexy scene with fellow teammate, Three (played by Mexican actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo who doubles as the movie’s comic relief). Then there is Four, a parkour expert played by English actor Ben Hardy and most noticeably Dave Franco who cameos as Six. And lastly, Corey Hawkins from Straight Outta Compton portrayed a military sniper expert, the second biggest role after Reynolds.
Honestly, none of the cast members are crucial in a Michael Bay’s movie. Even Deadpool fails to garner much screen presence after over two hours of runtime. Heck, you can even switch his role to Mark Wahlberg halfway and no one will bat an eyelid. Bay continues to churn out one major action sequence after another to distract you from the dumb plot. There’s one prolonged sequence set in a penthouse of a skyscraper and the last in a flashy gigantic yacht. This is one of Bay’s more violent movies after Bad Boys II with heads frequently being blown off at close range and lifeless bodies being flung from one point to another so you need to proceed with caution if you assumed this is Transformers friendly.
And if you also think this reviewer is one of Bay’s haters, I’m not. Cinematically speaking, his movies liked The Rock, The Island, the Bad Boys series and even the first Transformers were likeable entertaining stuff. Then his subsequent movies start to look and sound the same despite being different genres and handled by different writers. Again, the supposedly $150 million 6 Underground suffers from the same fate. Fancy locations, top stars, big budget yet you can’t really tell the difference. While the action genre has evolved to the John Wick era and the Mission Impossible series has turned into the decade most precious action franchise, Michael Bay remains rooted in the early 2000’s, unable to shake off his usual trademarks and pathetically no longer a relevant name on the big screen.
Review by Linus Tee