Our film follows six rogue agents who have all faked their deaths and have become ‘Ghosts’. Each member of the team has no name, only a number (from 1 – 6). The leader of the group calls himself “One” (played by Ryan Reynolds) and is a mysterious millionaire who decides when enough is enough from bad guys around the globe. When the government can’t do anything, the team of 6 will complete the task instead. 6 Underground shows the audience a random mission that has been selected by “One” (Ryan Reynolds). Along the way, the film will also give flashbacks and insights about each team member, including how they all met as well as how they were discovered and invited into the elite team.
For those who are not aware, this film has been directed and produced by Michael Bay (Best known for his other directional film “The Rock”, “Transformers” & “Bad Boys”). The first thing that stands out about 6 Underground is the Michael Bay style which is relatively consistent in the majority of his films. You know what I mean, right? This film is loaded with big explosions, cars flipping in the air, lots of gunfire, aeroplanes flying and random humour which doesn’t always land a hardy laugh. Most importantly, every Michael Bay film has solid amounts of product placement, including the lead actor’s very own product of “Aviation Gin” (Yes Ryan Reynolds, I did notice it clearly).
For some viewers, this type of film is exciting and great to play loudly on your home theatre system. For others, this type of film can be pointless. I don’t have an issue with the film’s style and let face it, sometimes you just feel like watching a brainlessly entertaining movie. After all, one of my all-time favourite Michael Bay films to this day is “The Rock” (1996).
But for me, I did notice a couple of issues that are deeply concerning.
The film feels loaded with content when the reality is it’s just a story about a single mission. But because the film begins with no history or back story of it’s leading characters, the film tries to develop the characters later in the 1st act of the film. The point in the movie where the backstories begin to be introduced feels a little out of place. Honestly, I found some stories confusing as to which character it was about. You see, with this type of film, everything is happening exceptionally quickly, which brings me to my second point and something I had a massive issue with- the editing.
The editing style of this film is choppy with quick edit cuts, and I found many edits cuts in this film seemed out of place, particularly when all six team members have all split up and are trying to sneak around and complete an objective. I found myself questioning many times during these edits, “What happened to that person?” or “hang on, how did that happen?” and the list goes on. About halfway through the film, I accepted the fact that the film has lots of gaps in the story, and I had to deal with it.
On a positive note, the film’s visuals and even its audio track was possibly one of the best I have seen on Netflix in some time (I suggest we thank Michael Bay for that praise point).
As for our leading man, yes, we do have some little jokes here and there which managed to secure a laugh from me. But in regards to the action done by the leading man, actor Ryan Reynolds doesn’t do much, which was slightly surprising to me considering the man’s talent and resume in action films.
Overall, while 6 Underground displays amazing visuals and audio tracks which is possibly the best I’ve seen from Netflix in some time (thanks to director Michael Bay!). The film’s plot and editing is messy, even though it seems like the scheme should be simple enough as it is a good guys vs bad guys premise, the film also has multiple backstories which are shown far too late in the movie. These backstories are trying to give the audience a reason to care, but instead, they hurt the film. A bigger issue was the film’s editing and cuts which made the film feel very choppy throughout. Thankfully, movie lovers who are merely seeking just another over the top action film in “Michael Bay-style” will generally be pleased by the crazy action sequences, particularly in the film’s opening act alone.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden