By: John M Jerva
REVIEW: 6 UNDERGROUND
STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Melanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Ben Hardy, and Dave Franco.
DIRECTED BY: Michael “BAYHEM” Bay!
Official 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.
THE REVIEW: Let me just start out this little review by saying that I’m a huge fan of the works of Director Michael Bay. From The Rock to the Transformers films, Bay knows what the audience wants and he gives it to them in spades. What do we want? Well, if your an action fan then it’s over extended action set pieces, over the top characters, fast moving vehicles and above all…plenty and plenty of explosions. I actually think that Bay’s more low key true story 13 Hours is my favorite of his but it is nice to see that he has returned to true form with this latest offering and that 6 Underground might be his masterpiece to date and the term that has been coined, “BAYHEM,” is in good hands with this one.
I applaud Netflix for taking the chance and serving up some cinema that should rightfully be playing on the big screen and here Bay has saved his best destructive elements in this film which tells the tale of a billionaire simply named One (Reynolds) who assembles a crack team of elite operatives who fake their own deaths to become ghosts to take down a ruthless dictator in an attempt to install a much more stable regime. Ryan Reynolds once again proves why he is one of Hollywood’s most popular leading men as he brings his usual charm and humor to the role and he is always having fun which is great to see on film.
In terms of plot, we have seen this one all too well but it’s not the plot that brings us here. Yes we have our team of operators who all have a specific skill set and only they can save the world from the threat that looms large throughout the movie but who cares because this is a Michale Bay film and it’s the glorious action that we have come to see. Do we have the ultra slo-mo shots…Check! Do we have gratuitous amounts of destruction to buildings and cities…Check! Do we have insane stunts worthy of a Hong Kong action epic…Check! Do we have massive explosions that seem to go off every five minutes…Big Check! I now see why the term “Bayhem” is used and I for one love it and if I was Bay, I would wear it like a badge of honor and a big “F” you to all the critics out there who get off on all the hating.
The movie opens with a literal bang as we are immediately treated to an action scene that would probably serve as the finale to most action films but here it is only the opening act. It’s also refreshing to see that Bay doesn’t play it safe with the always safe PG-13 rating and instead opts for a R rated thrill ride that serves up some pretty good violence and adult humor. Some of the more violent scenes are almost comical in a sense and I loved that Bay basically said “Hey! This movie isn’t going to theaters so why not let loose a little.”
Reynolds is surrounded by a great cast as well which includes Melanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Ben Hardy, and Dave Franco. Each member of the team has their pivitol moment in the sun and yes while we have seen all this before, this fresh cast really brings it home. You have the mastermind, the tier one operator, the elite driver, the medical expert, the hitman, the skywalker and the spy who all are brought in to serve justice and erase their pasts and lives in the process. We don’t know their names and they only go by numbers. Anonymity is the name of the game here. Is it new and original? Not really but who cares because Reynolds is like a Ninja. Just insert him into a movie and he automatically makes it better and the cast really have great chemistry together which is always a plus. Add the fact that the action scenes are off the hook and we have a winner baby. The script was written by Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese who also did the Deadpool movies with Reynolds so while it won’t bring anything new to the table at the end of the day, it’s still entertaining as F@ck!
The film does slow itself down in the middle as we learn more about our elite ghosts and while this seems to be a sticky point for some people, I thought it was great as we needed some background on these individuals and we also needed to catch our collective breaths a little. After all, things can’t blow up every second even in a Michael Bay film. This is a minor and I do mean minor thing and people need to understand that sometimes you have to refuel the engines before you rev up the insane action again.
I also loved the fact that I watched the film in the comfort of my own bed on my big screen TV and while it may not have been a huge theater screen, it still brought its A game to the table. I do love going to the movies don’t get me wrong but I love the fact that I can now watch theater quality films in the comfort of my own home and avoid the annoying crowds of people who proceed to talk during the film. I know Netflix and other streaming services have gotten a bad rep for doing this but I am a fan and I got my monthly subscription’s worth with this film alone.
All in all, the audience knows what they are getting when they see Michael “Bayhem” Bay’s name on the screen. It’s not going to cure cancer but it is going to entertain you for 2 plus hours and it’s not going to be boring. Ryan Reynolds can do these roles in his sleep but he never phones it in and he always gives it his all and that’s all anyone can ask for. I wanted explosions, violent action and car chases that would put the Fast And Furious franchise to shame and that is exactly what I got. The score on Rotten Tomatoes might not be great but those critics will never get these types of films. They’re not made to win Oscars. they are made for the audience and when it comes to the action genre, the greatest sin is to not entertain. I am here to tell you that with 6 Underground, you are indeed in for the ride of your movie going life so buckle up and enjoy the ride because it rocks the house!
VERDICT: 4.5 Out Of 5 Stars