Review by Camden Ferrell
What do you get when you give Michael Bay (Transformers) $150 million and an R rating? You get his newest film 6 Underground. This Netflix film has a heavy serving of mindless and explosive action, but it ultimately falls flat at telling a gripping story with compelling characters.
This film follows a billionaire philanthropist who fakes his death and forms a highly skilled team of agents. Together, they aim to stage a coup of a corrupt dictator in Turgistan. This premise feels entirely derivative of other action and thriller films and doesn’t offer much originality to the film. Regardless, this movie is never too concerned with telling an original story, only an action-packed one.
The writing in this film is a huge problem throughout. It has muddled timelines and excessive exposition. The dialogue is choppy and forced, and the film is plagued with cliché lines and overused tropes. The movie will deliver the occasionally entertaining quip, but it doesn’t have much else to offer to the film.
The acting in this film is also somewhat mixed. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) leads the film as the character One. Even though he is given some weak material throughout the movie, his charismatic personality is typically more than enough to make up for it. The rest of the cast which consists of Mélanie Laurent, Ben Hardy, and Corey Hawkins don’t especially stand out but also don’t noticeably bring down the film in any way.
The main appeal of this film comes from its action. Since Bay was able to work with an R rating, this is a bloody and action-filled mess. These scenes of non-stop gore and gunshots are where the movie succeeds the most. It’s surprisingly creative with how it crafts its action sequences, and a higher dose of action would have significantly boosted the film’s entertainment factor. The choreography of the actors and elements in a scene are also really interesting. It is often unrealistic, but that’s why it’s so much fun to watch.
However, the film does fall short of achieving its fullest potential during some action scenes. It’s often backed by a really boring dubstep alternative rock soundtrack that sounds like something you would hear in a commercial for all-terrain vehicles. It becomes very repetitive and obnoxious in a way that slightly hinders the energy of the action sequences.
It’s very clear that this is a film made specifically for action fans and thrill seekers. While it didn’t have a whole lot of depth to prevent the film’s significant lulls, it still should suffice for those who just want a nice serving of action. The cinematography is fairly tacky throughout, but it should be satisfactory for those seeking some adrenaline pumping scenes in this film.
Full of loads of Bay-hem, this movie will be perfect for his fans and those looking for mindless action. However, those who are looking for a gripping story to back the explosions will be sorely disappointed. It's refreshing to see Bay with this much money and an R rating, but the film is ultimately brought down by his shallow storytelling.
6 Underground is streaming on Netflix.