I’m a red-blooded American male. So, yeah, I like me a good action flick. Even bad action flicks can be an amusing waste of time. And sometimes, movies are just… there. Netflix’s latest blockbuster-wannabe outing, 6 Underground, is probably the loudest, most profane two hours of nothing I’ve ever had to sit through. By the end, if you make it that far, you probably won’t feel a thing.
Director Michael Bay isn’t known for subtlety or nuance; his MO has always been to start full throttle and just go up from there. The first ten minutes-that-feel-like-hours of the movie prove that anything can fly and/or explode, be it cars, fruit stands, body parts, innards, etc. A woman even gets smacked in the head by a pigeon. Not kidding.
The film opens with star Ryan Reynolds doing a snarky voiceover, which he already did, much better and funnier, in the Deadpool films. He does kind of blend in though, because his other 5 operatives are all just as smart-mouthed as he is. They outdo all the F-bombs in Netflix’s Bright in the first ten minutes. Reynolds tries to play it a little more serious, spouting some rhetoric about “doing the jobs they can’t,” or something along those lines. He comes off as Wade Wilson with the mind and money of Tony Stark, but with the charm of neither of those guys. The six are a culturally-diverse bunch who could best be described essentially as the Expendable A-Team on an Impossible Mission:, or, an even less-likable Suicide Squad. The plot? Hell, the screenwriters didn’t concern themselves with it, so neither will I.
Speaking of SS, this film has way too much in common with that chunk of cinematic sludge, right down to the soundtrack. The first action sequence features no less than three “songs” from some group called The Score, which I guess is who shows up when you can’t choose between Imagine Dragons and Panic! At The Disco. 6 Underground does not contain the same-titled song by trip hop group Sneaker Pimps, not even a sterilized remake of it, so don’t wait for it.
Fans of the Spice Girls won’t be disappointed though. “Wannabe” blares from the radio of the six’s car in what’s supposed to be a funny bit, but it’s about twenty years and four hundred movies past its freshness date. Most of the humor is so eye-rollingly bad, even the characters get sick of it.
Like I said at the top, I like action films. Take a classic like Die Hard (which is actually longer than this movie by five minutes). It’s still watchable to this day, because we felt for the hero John McClane, an everyman caught up in an impossible situation. We feel nothing for the six; they are all experts at what they do, and are never put in precarious or perilous situations. The parkour expert wants us to believe he’s a goner, but he takes repeated punches to the face and never gets as much as a black eye. The French spy lady goes from projectile squirting blood from a gunshot wound, to wearing a flimsy evening gown a few days later. The topper is the final song playing over the credits. It’s titled “Bulletproof,” because screw you, that’s why.
I can’t recommend this one. Go back and watch Deadpool, or even Deadpool 2, if you want Ryan Reynolds at his snappy, voiceover-y best. For a fun action movie, check out The Nice Guys, Bay’s own Bad Boys, or any episode of CHiPs. Zero out of five stars.