That director Michael Bay has a passion for explosive, over-the-top and entertaining films is no secret anymore. Movies like “Transformers: The Last Knight” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” come to mind and his newest film “6 Underground” fits in that list perfectly. It shows what Bay is known for. Making a bombastic, grandiose and loud film that lacks a well-developed story.
That “6 Underground” is style over substance becomes crystal clear from the very first moment. Bullets fly around your ears constantly, the roaring engines of fast-paced luxurious cars overrule everything and there’s no shortage of big and spectacular looking accidents.
During that opening scene, we get to know a team of six furious and action-loving leading characters. The team is led by a billionaire agent (Ryan Reynolds) and includes a C.I.A agent (Mélanie Laurent), a parkour-loving burglar (Ben Hardy), a Spanish hitman (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a doctor (Adria Arjona) and the driver (Dave Franco).
They’re all ghosts because the world thinks they are all dead, have no names and are just called by number. The team wants nothing more than helping the world a better place, by killing the bad guys. However, this always results in disaster, destruction, and death.
After losing one member of his team, One is looking for his next member and he finds him in the form of Seven (Corey Hawkins). A new member comes with a new mission and this time it’s to stage a coup d’état in the Middle East, to kill the dictator and to replace him with his more democratic and kind brother.
The speedy cars are ready, the newest gadgets are present and the weapons are loaded. Will the team be able to succeed in their mission or will their assignment literally and figuratively bomb?
At this moment, you probably already got it. If you’re looking for a movie with more depth and character then we suggest you check out “Knives Out” or “The Irishman”. Even if you really want an entertaining film then “6 Underground” might even be too much. There are both positive and negative elements to every aspect of this film.
The aspect that holds this movie together is the combination of cinematography, editing, and music. Bay and his team clearly love energetic music from bands such as Muse, The Score, and Armin Van Buuren. The songs go great together with the rapid-moving editing (from Roger Barton, William Goldenberg, and Calvin Wimmer) and the attractive cinematography (by Bojan Bazelli).
It would be the perfect base for an action-packed and exciting successful movie if it wasn’t for the flaws. Sometimes you just don’t know where to look because there’s too much going on in this movie. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little bit of action but not when the entire movie is filled with bullets, shattered glass, and stylish cars. After the first 15 minutes, the exciting element just fades away and makes this film feels like it’s dragging on.
What heightened that feeling even more is the overuse of special effects and stunts. They look spectacular and eye-catching at the beginning but the more you see them, the less interesting they become.
After seeing many of the action scenes in the film, you feel like the movie is going in circles and that you see the same scenes over and over again. They just look way too similar. “6 Underground” becomes a little bit better more towards the climax. Whether it ends on a high after all or not is something we’ll leave up to you.
While there’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to the characters, they’re still enjoyable and funny to watch. Mostly because of the amusing performance by the overall cast.
A cast that’s led by Reynolds (“Deadpool”, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”). During some scenes, it looks like he just stepped out one of his fancy commercials (especially when his Aviation gin makes an appearance) but most of the time, he’s wonderful as the bad-ass millionaire who would do anything for his mission, Reynolds’ performance is a funny, thrilling and exciting one to watch.
By his side we see a very diverse team. Franco (“The Disaster Artist”, “The Little Hours”) and Garcia-Rulfo (“Widows”, “Murder on the Orient Express”) add more manpower, humour and rough-tough characters to this movie.
Hardy (“Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Only The Brave”) and Hawkins (“BlacKkKlansman”, “Straight Outta Compton”) bring more emotion and human performances. The rock ‘n roll two femme fatale in this movie, Laurent (“Operation Finale”, “Mia and the White Lion”) and Arjona (“Triple Frontier”, “Pacific Rim: Uprising”), boost this movie with their style, fights, and cleverness. The people that really deserve the credit in this movie are without a doubt the stuntmen and women.
“6 Underground” has more clichés, action scenes and special effects than this film really needs. If the team would have toned down the action and SFX and would have focused more on the possible exciting story and witty characters, this movie would have a much bigger and positive impact.
“6 Underground” is now available via Netflix.
13th December 2019
THE QUICK SELL
Meet a new kind of action hero. Six untraceable agents, totally off the grid. They've buried their pasts so they can change the future.