19th Dec2019

’6 Underground’ Review (Netflix)

by Alex Ginnelly

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, Adria Arjona, Dave Franco, Corey Hawkins | Written by Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese | Directed by Michael Bay

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Michael Bay shows us he’s still obsessed with making films for 15 year old boys from 2003 with 6 Underground, the most Michael Bay films of all Michael Bay films…

Netflix are starting to become known for giving directors the freedom to create their passion projects. Over the last two years we’ve been blessed with films such as Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. The problem Netflix have found themselves in now, however, is that for every Roma we get, there may be more films like 6 Underground. It’s the total freedom Netflix is giving to its directors that’s such a refreshing take for a studio, but for Michael Bay to have total freedom is a dangerous thing.

It takes only about 2 minutes to realise you’re in a Michael Bay film, the auteur has really out done himself this time, in a film that is jammed packed with everything we’ve come to love or hate about him. Unfortunately for me, it’s everything I’ve come to hate about him.

The plot of 6 Underground is, predictably, simple…. A billionaire known only as One (Ryan Reynolds) fakes his own death to go off the grid with a team of mercenaries he has recruited. Their mission, disposing a violent dictator and replace him with his peaceful brother.

There is some great action in here somewhere, but it’s shot in such a mess and edited together so quickly it never gives you time to breath or to enjoy the action that is played out in front of you. There are without a doubt enjoyable moments in 6 Underground and I did have some fun with it; but it’s so bogged down in messy plot, undeveloped characters and unanswered questions that the plot-holes open up so large you could drive a Michael Bay size tank through them!

All that messy plot is made ten times worse by the incredibly poor editing, with flashbacks and quick cuts that give you a horrible pain in your head. Some of these undeveloped characters are actually good fun and a couple members of the team even get a little backstory, however characters like number Five (Adria Arjona) have nothing at all, and you even forget they’re in the film. The stand out – as always – is Ryan Reynolds, who even in bad films can’t seem to put a foot wrong. It’s his comedic timing that he has mastered which lets all of his jokes land, and when he’s on screen there is a lot of fun to be had. The same then can also be said for Ben Hardy, who plays number Four, he’s a breakthrough who had some of the best moments in the film.

Unfortunately, all these enjoyable character moments and fun we see is so jarring by the end of the film that we just don’t care. The plot that’s explained to us over and over, even after the lengthy opening car chase, is so hammered into us we get a headache. As is the fact these men and women are all meant to be dead, we get it, you all faked your deaths, it doesn’t need explaining twenty times.

If 6 Underground was better you can easily see this as Netflix’s first big movie franchise, with Ryan Reynolds as the lead, hunting new bad guys every film, yet I doubt that will be happening; and Netflix may need to look in a new direction for their big franchise.

** 2/5

6 Underground is available to watch on Netflix now.

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3 Responses to “’6 Underground’ Review (Netflix)”

  • Jessica

    Hello,

    I would just like to say that I think comments like “the most Michael Bay films of all Michael Bay films…” makes no sense. Michael Bay has a style of movie making that is both great and far more complex than people give him credit for, you cannot critique a thriller for being thrilling or a comedy for being funny. His movies are unqiue and his own style, it is a Michael Bay movie, so do not watch it expecting anything else. What I will say though is that this movie is also a step is a beautifully entertaining direction, it is hilariously scripted, action packed and is an emotionally driven film that leads on to the potential for a whole series of films that topple even the great fast and furious franchise. Due to the varied perspective that Michael Bay has applied to this film it shows an exciting and up to date use of modern technology and cinematography to create an exhilarating piece of movie art.

  • Wolf

    Good morning.
    It’s the fast-paced action the amazingly cut overs which make the opening minutes a real treasure.
    Folks keep comparing it with the Irishman.and it’s bad to do so.
    You take a biography and bit itagainst a imagined action movie.
    I think 6 underground should get a sequel.
    Compare it to the last star wars (which is a disaster since Disney has it) I love it action amazing cast a movie which can be watched and enjoyed without missing the plot. Absolutely Baytastic.
    Thanks Netflix.
    Wfs

  • Wolf

    One thing I wanted to add .
    You like these movies or not.
    I watched it three times and live it there are some hidden gems.
    And well I think there is no leading man or woman which I love (just open ur eyes when u watch) nr. 1 gets them all together but once the movie lifts off everyone is crucial.
    Again love it and please make more .
    Wolf