Movie Review: “6 Underground”
One (Ryan Reynolds) was a billionaire while he was alive. After being presumed dead in an accident, he decided to take advantage of his unique opportunity. He would recruit a team of skilled men and women who have wound up in situations like his and they would take out some of the world's baddest and most dangerous people. Although they are very much alive, they are ghosts to the rest of the world, which gives them an advantage.
One is a billionaire tech-genius, he is the founder of the group, and he assigns each member a number, so the rest of the team does not know their real names. The team consists of a CIA agent (Melanie Laurent), a hitman (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a parkour daredevil (Ben Hardy), a doctor (Adria Arjona), and a driver (Dave Franco). Their mission is to take down some of the world’s most evil people. Their targets are dictators, tyrants, and really anyone who uses their power for their own gain while hurting others. They hope to rid the world of some terrible people, but their first mission does not exactly go as smoothly as they had hoped.
The Pros & Cons
The Idea (+5pts)
Ridiculous Action (-4pts)
The Team Members (+8pts)
The Origins (-4pts)
The Action (+8pts)
The Antagonist (-6pts)
Pro: The Idea (+5pts)
I thought the premise of this movie was an interesting idea. Was it ridiculous? Sure, but in a way that could have worked well for an action movie. It was a story about a bunch of people with special skills who had near death experiences, then pretended they were dead to sever all of their personal connections and join the team of ghosts. They then used their skills, as well as the advantage of the rest of the world thinking they were dead, to take down the some of the worst people in power across the world.
Their goal was to use their unique position to make the world a better place. They had the freedom to choose their targets themselves, which meant that politics and ulterior motives never came into play. They very simply wanted to make the world a better place, which made it easy to root for their cause. Again, it was a ridiculous premise, but it was an interesting idea and I thought the filmmakers used it well.
Con: Ridiculous Action (-4pts)
As should be no surprise in a movie directed by Michael Bay, there were some pretty ridiculous action moments sprinkled throughout this movie. There were cars crashing into wooden tables, which caused sparks and explosions for some reason. There was also the magnet scene (I am not going to say any more about it to avoid spoilers, but I am sure you will find it equally ridiculous if you see the movie). There were also a ton slow-motion sequences which did nothing except hurt the pacing of the action that was happening on screen.
Then there was an antagonist hurling grenades with no regard for their allies or the damage that could be caused, and there was a flood that produced way too much water when considering where the water came from. The movie was just filled with ridiculous action moments. In moderation, these can be okay and can even work comedically. However, the filmmakers included way too many of these moments and most were distracting to the point where they took me out of the movie at least momentarily.
Pro: The Team Members (+8pts)
This was an over-the-top movie, and I liked the team involved. The characters were your typical over-the-top action characters, but they were an assortment of very different characters that I thought worked well together. They each had different skills, and each had wildly different personalities. This made their interactions with one another entertaining, and they each had their own way of handling things, which made their missions feel unpredictable and exciting
I also liked that each character, except for One, felt that their group was a family of sorts. They each came from very different backgrounds, but they came together to form a team that they all cared about, even though some did not like to admit it. This movie would have been much less interesting if these characters did not work well together. Fortunately, I thought they were all written to complement each other, and the actors had pretty decent on-screen chemistry. This all came together to create a team that definitely worked well together on-screen.
Con: The Origins (-4pts)
The filmmakers spent too much screen-time showing the origins for each member of the team. For the most part, these were all unnecessary. We did not need to see the origins for Two, Three, Four, or Five. These were all simple characters that did not need to be elaborated on. Nonetheless, the filmmakers felt the need to show how they each joined the team. These origins added nothing to the characters' stories, and only wasted screen-time.
The only character that really needed an origin was One. The filmmakers showed some of what led to him forming the group, but there were a lot of questions left unanswered regarding this character. I still do not know why he decided to pretend he was dead. I do not know what led to his decision that he was going to take down the baddest people in the world. This character's origin was what led to this team existing in the first place, but the filmmakers did not develop the character properly. Instead, we got a bunch of unnecessary scenes that showed the origins of each of the team members that did not need origins.
Pro: The Action (+8pts)
This really should not be any surprise, but Michael Bay knows how to do action. Were there ridiculous and distracting moments sprinkled throughout? Absolutely, but the action was always exciting, and it there was plenty of it. There were intense shootouts, fast-paced car chases, explosions left and right, and plenty of parkour.
This was an over-the-top action movie. Yes, there were a number ridiculous moments, but the action was mostly effective and it kept me entertained. You should not go into this movie expecting realism or serious action. If you do, you will certainly be disappointed. However, if you go into this movie expecting mindless, popcorn-devouring action, then this movie will deliver.
Con: The Antagonist (-6pts)
I have mentioned this next line in too many of my reviews, and you have certainly heard it before me, but a story is only as good as its antagonist. The antagonist does not need to be a mustache twirling "bad guy". The antagonist could be nature, a storm, a disease, a monster, or time. The antagonist could be anything that could make the protagonists goals more difficult.
In this movie, the antagonist was an evil dictator, and the filmmakers made him extremely one-dimensional. I am somewhat forgiving of this because this was supposed to be an over-the-top action movie, a genre not known for its compelling antagonists. That being said, this guy was evil for the sake of being evil, and there was absolutely nothing interesting about him. It made for a boring villain that I was not very invested in seeing him get what was coming to him. I do not think this movie was bad, but having a more developed villain would have gone a long way in getting me more invested in the story and the protagonists mission.
Grade: B- (82pts)
6 Underground was very honestly exactly what you would expect it to be. It is an action movie directed by Michael Bay, so you can expect ridiculous, over-the-top action with explosions in places they should be and explosions in places they should not be. This director is known for delivering a ridiculous, exaggerated style of action, but he knows how to do it effectively. The action was intense and exciting, even though it had more than its share of ridiculous moments.
I liked the team members, as I liked each of their personalities and thought they were pretty entertaining. I also liked the idea of a group of people who were assumed to be dead, but have taken up the mission of taking out some of the world's most evil and powerful people. It was an interesting concept, but I could have done without the unnecessary origin scenes. I also would have liked more development given to the main character, as it would have gotten me a lot more invested in his goal. Then there was the stereotypically evil antagonist that was not even remotely interesting. If you go into this movie expecting something more than ridiculous and mindless action, then you will be disappointed. However, if you are looking for a mindless, over-the-top action movie to pass some time, then this movie is exactly what you are looking for.