Director Michael Bay teams with Ryan Reynolds for the Netflix film, 6 Underground. A vigilante squad called “Ghosts” each specialize in a particular skill. The team was recruited for dangerous missions across the globe by a nameless billionaire philanthropist who faked his own death to take down the criminals that the government refuses to go after. We soon learn the billionaire’s code name is One (Ryan Reynolds).
The male members of the team include hit-man “Three” (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), Parkour expert/thief “Four” (Ben Hardy), and driver “Six” (Dave Franco). The female members of the team include a spy code-named “Two” (Mélanie Laurent) and a doctor code-named “Five” (Adria Arjona). After a personnel loss during their first mission, One decides to add a Delta Force sniper named Blaine (Corey Hawkins) to the team. Blaine, who is suffering from survivor’s remorse, is the perfect addition to the crew. One gives Blaine the code name, “Seven,” and sets up the team’s next mission to topple the government of Turgistan dictator Rovach Allimov (Lior Raz).
6 Underground opens up with Michael Bay’s usual style of direction, which is showcasing action sequences with fast cutting visuals and effects. After the impressive opening sequence, I was looking forward to finishing the film. Sadly as the running time moved, on I came to the realization this is the second-worst Michael Bay following, 2017’s abysmal, Transformers: The Last Knight.
Collaborative screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who are known for their work on films in the Deadpool and Zombieland franchises, strike out with their script for 6 Underground. The jokes in the film fall flat, the pacing takes a weird turn, and the arcs created for the character don’t go anywhere. The general idea for 6 Underground is a good one and may have come across stronger as miniseries. While watching the film, it’s apparent that the screenwriting duo attempted to fit in everything into the film, and it ends up hurting the overall narrative of the film.
Ryan Reynolds, who I’m usually a fan of, spends the entire film on autopilot. Reynolds makes a halfhearted attempt to channel his “Deadpool” persona and fails. This was surprising given that Reynolds has shown acting chops in the past, in different film genres. The rest of the cast all give performances that scream were are only here for a check. The only standout in the cast is Corey Hawkins, as Blaine. Hawkins, who briefly flirted with the action genre spin-off series, 24: Legacy, makes a great hero as he displays smoldering athletic ability and can deliver a one-liner with ease. Hopefully, the right casting director sees Hawkins in the film and takes note, as I can envision, Hawkins in a few other roles like this.
In the promotional press for the film, Ryan Reynolds had this to say about 6 Underground, “It’s the most Michael Bay movie Michael Bay ever Michael Bayed.” While this is true about the film, if Bay wanted to make a parody of his own films, then, by all means, do that. However, don’t insult your audience and fans by overdoing your own signature style to the point where it’s laughable. 6 Underground is the fourteenth film, Bay has directed in his twenty-four-year career. The mistakes in the movie are inexcusable, and Bay should know better.
6 Underground is not only one of the worst movies of 2019, but it’s also one of the worst movies that both director Michael Bay and star Ryan Reynold’s have ever done. From the suspension of disbelief and flat jokes, 6 Underground should stay buried in the Netflix archives.
Final Grade D-