Easily one of Netflix’s most ambitious original films to date finally lands on the streaming service, but is 6 Underground any good? There’s a short and a long answer to this question, I’ll get to the short answer later. Directed by Michael Bay, 6 Underground is an exercise in excess with its franchise friendly concept, and lashings of action.
Ryan Reynolds stars as One, a tech billionaire who faked his own death to form an underground team of soldiers to fight crime on a global scale. After a lengthy opening sequence claims the life of one of his crew, One recruits sniper Blaine (Corey Hawkins) to join their ranks. Striving to be a live-action remake of Team America only without the biting parody, 6 Underground feels like a throwback to 90s action flicks without the self-awareness. Written by Reynolds regulars Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese (Deadpool), there was ample opportunity for satire on the genre. That said, Bay isn’t known for subtly.
Paramount gave Bay too much power with the Transformers franchise, churning out soulless action set pieces with his trademarked Bayhem. With no opening weekend box office to worry about, Netflix has made the same mistake setting no boundaries or restrictions on a filmmaker famed for excess. All the needed elements for Bayhem are here, fast cars, jumbled editing, a plot that barely registers. Things go boom-bang-boom, slick stage pieces are so rapid-fire you’ll grow weary long before the impressive finale. Reynolds is predictably charming and watchable (and has all the best lines) but even he struggles to carry the movie. We’ll have to wait and see if 7 Underground becomes a thing.
Costing a whopping $150 million, 6 Underground has plenty of stylish action porn, but it’s home to all the worst habits of Michael Bay in one brash movie. If 13 Hours and Pain & Gain showed signs of the Bay that could make a solid movie, 6 Underground is proof that the guy who made Bad Boys and The Rock checked out a long time ago. Worth a watch if you’re in the mood for relentless action. As for the short answer, it’s a missed opportunity for something better than what we got.