I should like Michael Bay films, I really should. They are all action, explosions, people getting shot, inventive ways of dying and they’re usually full of seriously attractive people.
But I just don’t, they don’t gel with me, it all feels…just wrong somehow. But this, maybe this could be different, maybe 6 Underground could be the film that gets me to ‘get’ Michael Bay.
Jesus, how naive of me. Why didn’t I think this through? Why? Why? Netflix are of course famous for giving directors freedom, putting their trust in them, letting them do their thing.
When you give that to Michael Bay what do you think you get? That’s right, even more Michael Bay, so much Michael Bay, I mean, you’ve never witnessed this much Michael Bay even if you watched all of his films back-to-back, that still wouldn’t be as much Michael Bay as 6 Underground.
It’s as if he’s purposely gone over the top. I’m not kidding, everything explodes, whether it’s rational for it to explode or not, it does. Things split in two, sparks fly, crash dummies get thrown out of cars, the continuity is awful, I’m talking Commando levels of continuity.
The story is all over the place, flashbacks on top of flashbacks whilst we learn about these mysterious (not very mysterious) six. Each has their own story, which I won’t bore you with, and naturally each has their own ‘special talent’, you know, doctor, sniper etc etc. We dip in an out of their back stories but at really odd times.
We may be looking at Four, for example, played by Ben Hardy (“Bohemian Rhapsody“, Eastenders (TV)”), but the flashback will be about Two, Melanie Laurent (“Inglorious Basterds”, “Beginners”), it’s just odd.
Then we must talk about product placement too. There’s a message that comes up at the start of the film on Netflix, announcing it contains product placement. That’s odd I thought. Good lord, you couldn’t have missed it.
“There’s a BMW following us”, they say at one point, as if, when you are being chased through the streets of Florence by bad guys with guns, the make of the car is important? We get a close-up of the Alfa Romeo they drive, watches and, here’s the clincher, Aviation Gin…that’ll be the gin owned by Ryan Reynolds, in case you weren’t aware.
If none of that puts you off what about locations? Look, we are used to some parts of the world doubling as others, that’s always happened, but it’s so bad in 6 Underground it’s painful.
Everybody knows Abu Dhabi and Dubai, they have some of the largest and most lavish landmarks in the world. This is where the majority of the film is shot, yet it’s meant to be Turgmenistan or some such made up place, yet it is very obviously Abu Dhabi for the most part.
At one point, they say they are going to Vegas, we have the obligatory shot of some dice being rolled, we then cut to a racing circuit, which is very obviously the Yas Marina race circuit in Abu Dhabi, and the caption says “Vegas”??
The positives? Well, there are some very inventive ways for bad guys to die, I can’t deny that. The stunts are well done, there’s a lot of them so you’d hope so and the directing is good in terms you actually get to see everything that’s going on, no zoomed in shaky cam here.
The question is though, do you really want to see everything that’s going on?